Paris attacks


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Direct ramifications for this could end up with million of people being affected, with hundreds of thousands dead.

Well, millions of people are already being affected and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Syria and (on a vastly tinier scale) other countries over the past twelve years.

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Europe could very well perceive this as their own version of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. No country will stand idly by and wait to see if the next mass murder is happening in their capital city or that of their neighbors. This may very well be the end of an era.

As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous).

Certainly there will be policy and security changes and this may be a gamechanger of a moment in that it galvanises some kind of additional military response, but it's not quite the casus belli for some kind of massive, disproportionate international response.

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Yes. Even disregarding the likely increase in hate crimes against them across Europe, I'd assume governments will be forced into action. I can easily see a wave of right wing parties taking elections so long as they promise a more forceful handling of immigrants. And there's no humane way to be forceful at an immigrant.

Certainly right-wing wingnuts will seize on this as an excuse to push anti-immigration and racist policies. But they were doing that anyway.

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There are millions of Muslim in Paris.

In France, yes, not Paris.

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This attack means that every French citizen is now in constant danger. It is a serious escalation of events.

No. At least, not an escalation of the danger. The danger was there before, it's now been actualised. We've been living with this danger in Europe for generations. I grew up knowing every time I went to London there was a risk of an IRA bomb going off. You have to accept those risks or stop being able to live your life and then the terrorists have won.

Also, carrying out this kind of attack against the French is pretty dumb. The French are even more resiliant and philosophical about these things than we in the UK are, and we're pretty bullshy about it.

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You have to do something when this kind of attack happens. Just shrugging it off isn't an option. The truly tragic thing is that whatever you do in reaction is likely to cause a whole lot of suffering and extremely unlikely to actually solve the problem. It's a really sh**ty position to be in.

There will be a response, either an escalation of the current air strikes or accepting certain things that a few weeks ago were unacceptable (probably allowing Assad to remain in Syria in a transitional mode). This in turn will allow for a more coordinated push and attack on ISIS.

The big problem is that the only current ground forces having any serious successes, the Kurdish Peshmerga, are also bitterly opposed by the Turks and some of the Syrian government and other rebel groups. The Kurds can't do everything by themselves, although their recent recapture of Sinjar could be a huge strategic movement, as it threatens to cut off the primary Syria-Iraq supply route for ISIS and will help in the siege of Mosul that the Iraqi army is preparing to launch.

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Since Putin is fighting them in Syria openly, I wonder why they haven't targeted them...

There are Chechen groups who'd happily help ISIS (vice versa is less clear, as ISIS are way more hardcore about not helping other groups who won't swear loyalty to them, unlike al-Qaeda) and those groups have bombed Volgograd (twice) and Moscow in the last five years, killing dozens. Certainly Russia isn't immune from this sort of thing.

Plus an alleged affiliated group shot down a Russian airliner a couple of weeks ago.

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A good question is why the NSA did not stop this. After all, with all the information they have, they must certainly have been aware of such a complex scheme.

Despite how it is protrayed on film and television, the American NSA isn't very good. It's intelligence has been largely awful, its ability to liaise and infiltrate local groups in the Islamic world is almost non-existent and it relies on signals and electronic transmissions to the point where Islamic terror groups know how to avoid them (meeting up in a house in the middle of nowhere or going outside for a walk and putting nothing on an electronic device is all it takes).


Werthead wrote:
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Europe could very well perceive this as their own version of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. No country will stand idly by and wait to see if the next mass murder is happening in their capital city or that of their neighbors. This may very well be the end of an era.
As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous)
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Since Putin is fighting them in Syria openly, I wonder why they haven't targeted them...

There are Chechen groups who'd happily help ISIS (vice versa is less clear, as ISIS are way more hardcore about not helping other groups who won't swear loyalty to them, unlike al-Qaeda) and those groups have bombed Volgograd (twice) and Moscow in the last five years, killing dozens. Certainly Russia isn't immune from this sort of thing.

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Plus an alleged affiliated group shot down a Russian airliner a couple of weeks ago.

Which, just to tie to your examples above, killed far more people than the Paris attacks, but provoked much less media attentions.

Partially because it's not 100% clear it was a bomb and both Egypt & Russia downplayed the attack for political reasons.

Liberty's Edge

Actually, the NSA is pretty good at its job, which is electronic and signals intelligence. Infiltration and liasing with locals in foreign countries is the CIA's job.


Sissyl wrote:

A good question is why the NSA did not stop this. After all, with all the information they have, they must certainly have been aware of such a complex scheme.

But maybe the NSA are counting on getting a bigger budget, like they do every time they decline to act on their data?

To quote Spike. "We're EVIL!!! We only have to get lucky ONCE!!! You have to be lucky all the time."


Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I am pretty happy that this thread (and, it seems, the Paizo community overall) is proving an island from the bigotry I've been seeing from other people I know. Paizo's community doesn't agree about much, so that's actually a pleasant surprise. I always brace myself reading this thread for a "the refugees should fight off Daesh themselves instead of asking us to do it" poster. Hasn't happened yet.

This is just so horrible, and one of the greatest tragedies from it is going to be the ensuing backlash against an already very poorly treated minority.

Not to nitpick, but that "minority" is the second most popular religion in the world, with over a billion (close to two billion I believe) adherents.

Which is part of the reason why Muslim radicals are such a big deal. They currently make up something like 1% of the total Muslim population...but nobody knows which of that percent is poised where to do what. Which is where the paranoia and panic comes from. Close to two billion "potential terrorists"...and no concrete way to weed out the ACTUAL ones from that crowd.

Muslims are FAR from a minority in any realistic sense, and that's exactly why knee jerk anti-Islam reactions are so dangerous. Setting aside that bigotry is clearly not a good trait to have, it's also not practical.

At best you look silly by saying "I hate roughly a third of the Earth's population", at worst you turn the innocent ones against you by making them fear for their lives and legitimize the extremist propaganda.

Even if it were somehow the right choice, genocide of Muslims isn't exactly a feasible option. There's simply too many. So people need to just deal with it.

Also, IS have declared a caliphate over the whole Islamic world, the vast majority of whom do not want them or their version of Islam. We're just not hearing much about their attacks in Islamic nations.(They also, apparently, intend to retake Spain.)


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The attacks were horrible. My best wishes to those struggling to survive even now, and my condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims.

President Hollande implied in his statements that France will answer in force, probably escalating the war with the IS, and making more terrorist attacks even more likely. I´m sad that no one yet has expressed a desire in trying to understand the conflict in all its aspects, and beyond fighting today trying to make conflicts more unlikely. IMO, as long as the "west" does not stop seeing the rest of the world as its colonies for resources like oil, these conflicts will not stop. There are other reasons as well, but this plays a big role IMO.

As for the timing, somebody pointed out that the IS suffered some setbacks recently, and lost territory, and thus, needed a success, so that their recruiters can point to that. I don´t know if there is anything to that idea, but it might be a point.

Police and secret services will not succeed in preventing such an attack most of the time, no matter how much they know and how tight surveillance is. In France, phone calls are recorded routinely AFAIK, but it did nothing to prevent either Charlie Hebdo or this attack. Men who are willing to die for their cause, just to kill other people they consider the enemy, are always dangerous. Of course, police and other officials concerned with safety cry out for even more surveillance already. Nobody seems to be willing to admit that safety from terrorism can never be reached, no matter how hard it is tried.

Someone pointed to Edward Snowdens leaks, saying that because of these leaks, the work of the secret services has become much harder, and implying that Snowden is somewhat of a guilty party in these attacks - a ridiculous claim if I ever heard one.

I do see right-wing populists pointing to these attacks and the refugees and smugly saying "told you so". I´m waiting what our own PEGIDA movement has to say on this tomorrow. They spilled enough hate already, leading to right-wing terrorism in Germany against refugees homes sharply increasing since they started their "evening walks".

I think that we will see more terrorist attacks in Europe soon, but we will have to live on without giving in to fear, and without coming to hate the refugees and the muslims here. If we start to hate, the terrorists have won.

The Exchange

@Werthead:

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Well, millions of people are already being affected and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Syria and (on a vastly tinier scale) other countries over the past twelve years.

I meant as a direct result of these attacks. I mean if these attacks didn't happen maybe France doesn't carry out the military action I strongly suspect it will now and maybe countless lives are spared.

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As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous).

Certainly there will be policy and security changes and this may be a gamechanger of a moment in that it galvanises some kind of additional military response, but it's not quite the casus belli for some kind of massive, disproportionate international response.

I'm not sure you're right. The political situaation of Muslim immigrants in Europe was already a very charged and tense one. In this context, such a complex, competent, heartless attack as the one we've seen now is a very big warning to every European. This could be your city next, this could be your people massacred. It's a direct threat at every European alive, because the people that made it happen are still out there and could easily be sneaking more men in with further waves of immigrants.

Besides, any escalation of security measures now results in tens or hundreds of thousands more bitter and downtrodden immigrants realizing they might not have anywhere to run away to. If even a very small percentage of such numbers turn to Jihad armies to channel their anger, you have a force capable of causing a lot of chaos. These things only get worse once they get rolling.

I could be wrong. I hope I am. But looking around, these are the exact circumstances that turn into historically significant clusterf*@ks. The death toll before this story is over could be tragically high.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Werthead wrote:
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Direct ramifications for this could end up with million of people being affected, with hundreds of thousands dead.

Well, millions of people are already being affected and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Syria and (on a vastly tinier scale) other countries over the past twelve years.

True

Werthead wrote:
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Europe could very well perceive this as their own version of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. No country will stand idly by and wait to see if the next mass murder is happening in their capital city or that of their neighbors. This may very well be the end of an era.

As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous).

Certainly there will be policy and security changes and this may be a gamechanger of a moment in that it galvanises some kind of additional military response, but it's not quite the casus belli for some kind of massive, disproportionate international response.

I dare say the casus belli against Iraq was even thinner than this. And I disagree about the european public in general being prepared for this kind of terror tactics. You mention examples of political or anti-colonialist attacks. Fact is those are quite distant in time and very much different things. The main problem here is the "enemy within" syndrome, and the risk it spirals down from here.

Werthead wrote:
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Yes. Even disregarding the likely increase in hate crimes against them across Europe, I'd assume governments will be forced into action. I can easily see a wave of right wing parties taking elections so long as they promise a more forceful handling of immigrants. And there's no humane way to be forceful at an immigrant.
Certainly right-wing wingnuts will seize on this as an excuse to push anti-immigration and racist policies. But they were doing that anyway.

Yes, but now they will gather more support due to acts like these, which in turn will exacerbate the problem (I for one believe right wing xenophobic movements don't really want to solve the problem: its existance is literally their whole political capital)

Werthead wrote:
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This attack means that every French citizen is now in constant danger. It is a serious escalation of events.

No. At least, not an escalation of the danger. The danger was there before, it's now been actualised. We've been living with this danger in Europe for generations. I grew up knowing every time I went to London there was a risk of an IRA bomb going off. You have to accept those risks or stop being able to live your life and then the terrorists have won.

Also, carrying out this kind of attack against the French is pretty dumb. The French are even more resiliant and philosophical about these things than we in the UK are, and we're pretty bullshy about it.

I think you are overstimating european resilience to this kind of stuff. And there's a huge difference between an IRA bomb possibly going off near a government site (awful as it could be) and a bunch of people gunning you down at a concert or at a football game and then setting themselves to explode. There's a whole different degree of nihilism involved and the idea is not striking back at what it's perceived as an enemy institution. The idea here is to attack the lives of civilians making the western lifestyle a dangerous thing by itself. When Is threatens "you'll be scared to go to the market!" they mean exactly that.

Liberty's Edge

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When people have goals based on territory, self-governance or freedom then it is possible to talk to them rather than fight them, even when they have opted for 'terror' tactics to promote their cause. When they have chosen to resort to commiting mindless atrocities wherever they go, even amongst their own people, they have become rabid dogs... and the only thing you do with a rabid dog is reach for a shotgun.


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Hi. I don't know if they made press overseas, but last friday wasn't by far the first alert since the Charlie shootings in January.

Let' see... We had a guy who planned a shooting in a church, killed first a woman without clear reasons, ended up shooting himself into the foot and got arrested while seeking medical assistance in an hospital. Then another guy (a delivery man) decapitated his boss and put his head on a fence pike (litterally) before trying unsuccesfully to cause an explosion in a chemical plant. And of course the recent case of the Thalys train where american soldiers shined. More got arrested before getting really started. Basically, they were young morons with guns and a cause.

And it's only the cases that the public know of. The government explicitely stated that there were others, kept under wraps for security reasons.

So, they got lucky this time, but it's definetly not a surprise : for months we have been told that a new strike wasn't an "if" question, but a "when" one.

The probable official reaction is that we will continue to the Syria strikes and see who will win the race and bomb the other into oblivion : DAESH/ISIS or the rest of the world ?

The common people will react the same way as in January, by closing ranks and go on as usual, as a big up-finger to the bad guys who want to sow fear everywhere. It's quite impossible to stop kamikaze attacks in an open society, and becoming a police state isn't really our cup of tea.

Of course the nutjobs and far-right will ask exactely that, more security and less scapegoats-of-the-week.

@Stebehil : I'm not sure what you meant by "trying to undestand the conflict"... Strikes in Iraq and Syria began (last year and last september, respectively) because of bombings and threats, not the other way around. Furthermore, discussing with ISIS isn't a real option. For peace talks, you need in face of you someone who is willing to play nice and let you live the way you want, not a totalitarian crackpot unwilling to accept any point of view but his own. Tried in Munich in 33, didn't work at all.

Liberty's Edge

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Smarnil le couard wrote:
@Stebehil : I'm not sure what you meant by "trying to undestand the conflict"... Strikes in Iraq and Syria began (last year and last september, respectively) because of bombings and threats, not the other way around. Furthermore, discussing with ISIS isn't a real option. For peace talks, you need in face of you someone who is willing to play nice and let you live the way you want, not a totalitarian crackpot unwilling to accept any point of...

They're assuming that ISIS isn't being entirely up front and honest when it talks about wanting to wind the world back to the medieval period or before. That there's some cynical ploy by those in control to gain temporal power by taking advantage of religious belief. That and the typical victim blaming that surrounds terrorist attacks from certain ideological corners.

It's' not though. ISIS really does hold to an extreme, militant, and violently fundamentalist version of Salafi Islam.

Ona side note, glad to see you're alright and hopefully all your friends and family are as well. I know that it's statistically unlikely any given Frenchman is a Parisian, or that any given Parisian was a victim, but, still.


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Krensky, Smarnil: I´m not saying that the IS is not to blame, far from it. They are extreme and violent fundamentalists adhering to their own interpretation of islam, they are murderous terrorists killing people for the sake of it, and further their own murderous agenda by shooting and bombing innocents. A murderer is always responsible for his own deed, the blame cannot fall to anybody else. I´m not trying to blame the victims here.

And furthermore, in the present situation, I don´t really see any alternative to fighting the IS. I don´t like that at all, as I don´t like fighting and killing, but you can´t talk reason to fanatics. But this always carries the risk to create more fanatics. I fear that this conflict cannot be "won".

But the IS did not fall from the sky. It came into being somehow, and to truly end a conflict, you need to really understand how it came to exist in the first place. Otherwise, the conflict will just be suppressed by force, and will break out again at some point. I guess that the conflicts in the Near East do have quite enough "home-made" reasons (the various interpretations of religion being one), but then, the interventions from outside powers during the last few centuries and continuing to this day did not make anything better, it seems. That was what I tried to say with unterstanding the conflict - on a larger scale, and in a longer timeframe, and looking at all the factors playing into it. With the Near East, "western" interventions surely are among the factors playing into the conflict.


Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I am pretty happy that this thread (and, it seems, the Paizo community overall) is proving an island from the bigotry I've been seeing from other people I know. Paizo's community doesn't agree about much, so that's actually a pleasant surprise. I always brace myself reading this thread for a "the refugees should fight off Daesh themselves instead of asking us to do it" poster. Hasn't happened yet.

This is just so horrible, and one of the greatest tragedies from it is going to be the ensuing backlash against an already very poorly treated minority.

Not to nitpick, but that "minority" is the second most popular religion in the world, with over a billion (close to two billion I believe) adherents.

Which is part of the reason why Muslim radicals are such a big deal. They currently make up something like 1% of the total Muslim population...but nobody knows which of that percent is poised where to do what. Which is where the paranoia and panic comes from. Close to two billion "potential terrorists"...and no concrete way to weed out the ACTUAL ones from that crowd.

Muslims are FAR from a minority in any realistic sense, and that's exactly why knee jerk anti-Islam reactions are so dangerous. Setting aside that bigotry is clearly not a good trait to have, it's also not practical.

At best you look silly by saying "I hate roughly a third of the Earth's population", at worst you turn the innocent ones against you by making them fear for their lives and legitimize the extremist propaganda.

Even if it were somehow the right choice, genocide of Muslims isn't exactly a feasible option. There's simply too many. So people need to just deal with it.

To clarify my wording:

Muslims are a minority in the vast majority of the Global North countries. In a "realistic" sense, this puts their technical majority at a significant disadvantage.

Liberty's Edge

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Stebehil wrote:

Krensky, Smarnil: I´m not saying that the IS is not to blame, far from it. They are extreme and violent fundamentalists adhering to their own interpretation of islam, they are murderous terrorists killing people for the sake of it, and further their own murderous agenda by shooting and bombing innocents. A murderer is always responsible for his own deed, the blame cannot fall to anybody else. I´m not trying to blame the victims here.

And furthermore, in the present situation, I don´t really see any alternative to fighting the IS. I don´t like that at all, as I don´t like fighting and killing, but you can´t talk reason to fanatics. But this always carries the risk to create more fanatics. I fear that this conflict cannot be "won".

But the IS did not fall from the sky. It came into being somehow, and to truly end a conflict, you need to really understand how it came to exist in the first place. Otherwise, the conflict will just be suppressed by force, and will break out again at some point. I guess that the conflicts in the Near East do have quite enough "home-made" reasons (the various interpretations of religion being one), but then, the interventions from outside powers during the last few centuries and continuing to this day did not make anything better, it seems. That was what I tried to say with unterstanding the conflict - on a larger scale, and in a longer timeframe, and looking at all the factors playing into it. With the Near East, "western" interventions surely are among the factors playing into the conflict.

You should read those Atlantic articles I posted earlier. You're getting ISIS completely wrong by applying conventional wisdom regarding terrorist groups and their motivations and patterns.

What the west has or has not done to the middle east is irrrelevant to ISIS. We aren't part of their caliphate, so we're the enemy. That's it. You can't negotiate with them or make a peace treaty because their literal reading of the Quran says the caliph can not make anything other than a short term peace agreement and doesn't have to honor them anyway.

These attacks aren't a change in tactics or style, the Quran says to be a brutal and ruthless as possible with us to make war so demoralising that we'll surrender to the caliphate for our own good.

They are not like the IRA, or the Red Brigades, or ETA, or even like Hamas or Hezbollah or al Qaeda. THey are something completely different.


To the pieces of human trash that committed this awful act: "Congratulations you utter and complete pieces of garbage! You've single handedly turned an entire continent against millions of your own desperate people trying desperately to get access to a better life! In conclusion, I hope all eight of you spend the rest of eternity looking at the faces of every single person your actions have harmed or will harm in the future!"


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Krensky wrote:
Stebehil wrote:

Krensky, Smarnil: I´m not saying that the IS is not to blame, far from it. They are extreme and violent fundamentalists adhering to their own interpretation of islam, they are murderous terrorists killing people for the sake of it, and further their own murderous agenda by shooting and bombing innocents. A murderer is always responsible for his own deed, the blame cannot fall to anybody else. I´m not trying to blame the victims here.

And furthermore, in the present situation, I don´t really see any alternative to fighting the IS. I don´t like that at all, as I don´t like fighting and killing, but you can´t talk reason to fanatics. But this always carries the risk to create more fanatics. I fear that this conflict cannot be "won".

But the IS did not fall from the sky. It came into being somehow, and to truly end a conflict, you need to really understand how it came to exist in the first place. Otherwise, the conflict will just be suppressed by force, and will break out again at some point. I guess that the conflicts in the Near East do have quite enough "home-made" reasons (the various interpretations of religion being one), but then, the interventions from outside powers during the last few centuries and continuing to this day did not make anything better, it seems. That was what I tried to say with unterstanding the conflict - on a larger scale, and in a longer timeframe, and looking at all the factors playing into it. With the Near East, "western" interventions surely are among the factors playing into the conflict.

You should read those Atlantic articles I posted earlier. You're getting ISIS completely wrong by applying conventional wisdom regarding terrorist groups and their motivations and patterns.

What the west has or has not done to the middle east is irrrelevant to ISIS. We aren't part of their caliphate, so we're the enemy. That's it. You can't negotiate with them or make a peace treaty because their literal reading of the Quran says the caliph can not make anything other than a short term peace agreement and doesn't have to honor them anyway.

These attacks aren't a change in tactics or style, the Quran says to be a brutal and ruthless as possible with us to make war so demoralising that we'll surrender to the caliphate for our own good.

They are not like the IRA, or the Red Brigades, or ETA, or even like Hamas or Hezbollah or al Qaeda. THey are something completely different.

That may be true of their ideology.

It's not true of their growth or their power or their support. Whatever the details of their particular form of crazy, they still need recruits and arms and funding and if they want to hold territory, they need to deal with the geopolitical realities around them. They seem to be doing a good job of it, so I assume they're not completely blind to reality.
Their ideology may not care what the West has or has not done, but the current situation in Iraq & Syria is a result of both internal decisions and Great Power meddling dating back to the Ottaman Empire and beyond. It's those conditions that created the power vaccuum Daesh is exploiting. It's those conditions that radicalize their recruits.

I don't think Stebehil's saying we should make a peace treaty with them, but that even if we stomp them into the ground, if we don't change the conditions, we'll just see another, radical Islamist group take their place - maybe with a slightly different ideology, but feeding off the same problems.
And stomping them into the ground is very likely to make the situation worse.

Liberty's Edge

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I know it's really hard Jeff, but stop blaming the victim.


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Jeff is not blaming the victim. He's pointing out that "the West" has a habit of creating our own enemies. DAESH isn't just getting recruits by misread scripture—DAESH is getting recruits because there are a lot of people in these areas who feel wronged by, say, the USA. These organizations did not form in a vacuum.

Jeff is not blaming the victim. The victims of this attack were not the ones who chose to send troops into other countries. They didn't choose to fund radical terrorist sects in Afganistan. They didn't choose to trip panicked refugees on camera. No victims are being blamed in this conversation, and claiming that they are muddies this already ugly issue tremendously.

Liberty's Edge

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That's pretty much exactly what you three are doing and you should stop.


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I'm not talking about blaming anyone. Though if we want to talk about victims, there's an awful lot more Muslims dead due to Daesh than Europeans.

I'm talking about actual reasons for what's happened over the last years and decades in that part of the world. And about what the likely consequences of relying on more military action to deal with it are.

What's your idea of blame then? They're just evil people with nothing beyond that? There's no reason people join up with Daesh other than they're evil?
Daesh is evil. They are disgusting. They are responsible for their actions, not their victims, not anyone else. But they didn't come from nowhere and if you could magically wave your hand and kill or imprison them all today, someone would take their place.


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The only way we could be blaming the victims would be if we were saying that the people targeted in these attacks are responsible for their own suffering. None of us have said that—the people who have been attacked were ordinary civilians, not soldiers, and certainly not the people giving those soldiers orders. Pointing out that, say, US involvement in Afganistan created the Taliban is not victim-blaming, it's simple, sad, objective fact.

Accusing us of victim-blaming to deflect this issue is actually extremely gross and disappointing.

EDIT: To make a comparison, it would be like declaring that people complaining about rape culture in the USA were "blaming" USA rape victims. We can object to policies of countries in the Global North without blaming every single person living in those countries for the actions of the organizations those policies helped to create.

Liberty's Edge

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Today at Aston University in England we hold a vigil/silence at 11am GMT in memory of those killed and injured in Paris last Friday. Stand with us in spirit, even if you are not there.

As for the UnIslamic State members responsible for the murders, I'd just like to see their faces when they arrive on the 'other side' and find out just how wrong they have been about what our Heavenly Father wants...

PS Join me in using the term UnIslamic State, it sums them up pretty neatly to anyone who's read the Holy Qu'ran or paid any attention to Islamic belief.

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Megan Robertson wrote:
PS Join me in using the term UnIslamic State, it sums them up pretty neatly to anyone who's read the Holy Qu'ran or paid any attention to Islamic belief.

The leader of ISIS apparently has a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad. I find any claims that ISIS's extremism stems from ignorance of real Islam... dubious, at best.


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Megan Robertson wrote:


PS Join me in using the term UnIslamic State, it sums them up pretty neatly to anyone who's read the Holy Qu'ran or paid any attention to Islamic belief.

That's why a lot of people have been using Daesh.

Quote:
The term “Daesh” is strategically a better choice because it is still accurate in that it spells out the acronym of the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Yet, at the same time, “Daesh” can also be understood as a play on words — and an insult. Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, it can mean anything from “to trample down and crush” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” Already, the group has reportedly threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who uses the term.


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Yes! That's what we need, more derogatory terms for people.


Those people? Too good for them. And since they hate it, it seems fair to call them that. Isis, the Egyptian goddess, never deserved to get mixed up with their s!&%.

Sooooo, the NSA got extreme surveillance powers specifically to prevent terrorist acts. The NSA doesn't do a good job of it, apparently. Why should everyone else have to stand NSA spying, given that it doesn't even help? I mean, either they are incompetent, despite all their powers, or they don't do the job they should. Either should be grounds for a serious stripping down of their budget.


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Megan Robertson wrote:
These scum from the UnIslamic State have brought shame on the faith they claim to profess but signally have failed to understand.

No True Scottsman?

I'd counter that ISIS clearly understands fundamental Islam very well -- they seem to be following the Hadith to the letter.

The more moderate majority of Muslims are worthy of respect precisely because of how much of their scriptures they actively ignore -- and not so much for the parts they follow. The same applies to Christians, Jews, and almost anyone else whose "holy" books are rooted in the days of tribalism.


It seems I might be right, France will ask United Nations to give the right to eradicate DAESH, at the same time all European Union members will be ask to provide assistance (using the assistance obligation when a member is attacked) and the French president will meet both Obama and Putin, most probably to gather a major international alliance.
I won't surprised if NATO is also directly implied.

I think it's the beginning of the end for DAESH. Terrorists isolated themselves and help the world to ally against them.
Lets see the next episode...


Funny facts about people reaction : the "we are at a café terrace" (same graphism as "I am Charlie") is going viral, same as "we are depraved".

Also, someone launched a call for massive group sex on "Place de la République" (Republic plaza) next thursday. I highly doubt it will take place, but still a nice nose thumbing.

I don't think for my part that thejeff is blaming anyone, but also not convinced at all that previous intervention created fundamentalism, which have roots going as far back as the twenties ; it certainly fanned it and facilitated recruitment though. Daesh is its latest incarnation, but not the last : totalitarian thought (or absence of it) has a lot of appeal to some people.

In the short term, Daesh is a purecloth creation of Bashar el Assad. Its funding fathers were in syrian jails and got released because he needed conveniently islamic and anti-occidental opposition to point at and justify repression ("look! I'm fighting islamists, just like you ! Forget the pro-democracy opposition!"). Somehow, the frankenstein monster got loose and bit his ass, same as everyone else.

As far as I know, Daesh started killing other syrians well before the first occidental bombs started to fall. Kurds and Yazidis (fellow muslims, but seen as heathens) were favorite targets with atrocities on civilians such as enslaving women, killing men,etc. (and no, it's neither an Howard citation or hyperbole, just what they did and openly boasted on Internet). Self flagellation can be fine at times, but on this I feel that occidental countries are well justified to fight Daesh. Can't say if it will be efficient, but what else to do ? Stay put and watch them gobbling up other countries ?


Smarnil le couard wrote:

Funny facts about people reaction : the "we are at a café terrace" (same graphism as "I am Charlie") is going viral, same as "we are depraved".

Also, someone launched a call for massive group sex on "Place de la République" (Republic plaza) next thursday. I highly doubt it will take place, but still a nice nose thumbing.

I don't think for my part that thejeff is blaming anyone, but also not convinced at all that previous intervention created fundamentalism, which have roots going as far back as the twenties ; it certainly fanned it and facilitated recruitment though. Daesh is its latest incarnation, but not the last : totalitarian thought (or absence of it) has a lot of appeal to some people.

In the short term, Daesh is a purecloth creation of Bashar el Assad. Its funding fathers were in syrian jails and got released because he needed conveniently islamic and anti-occidental opposition to point at and justify repression ("look! I'm fighting islamists, just like you ! Forget the pro-democracy opposition!"). Somehow, the frankenstein monster got loose and bit his ass, same as everyone else.

As far as I know, Daesh started killing other syrians well before the first occidental bombs started to fall. Kurds and Yazidis (fellow muslims, but seen as heathens) were favorite targets with atrocities on civilians such as enslaving women, killing men,etc. (and no, it's neither an Howard citation or hyperbole, just what they did and openly boasted on Internet). Self flagellation can be fine at times, but on this I feel that occidental countries are well justified to fight Daesh. Can't say if it will be efficient, but what else to do ? Stay put and watch them gobbling up other countries ?

Yeah, I wouldn't say "created fundamentalism", but as you say fanned the flames and drove recruitment.

I've also heard that at least part of the base for what became Daesh was Sunni militants (and former Baathists?) from Iraq. It's all part of the same thing.


thejeff wrote:
Smarnil le couard wrote:


In the short term, Daesh is a purecloth creation of Bashar el Assad.
I've also heard that at least part of the base for what became Daesh was Sunni militants (and former Baathists?) from Iraq. It's all part of the same thing.

The most direct links were actually Jordanian, from the militant group Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, which was started by a Jordanian in Afghanistan, with funding from bin Laden.

JTJ started in 1999, joined Al-Qaeda in 2004, participated in the Iraqi insurgency, and formed the IS/Daesh (as the Islamic State of Iraq) in 2006.

The short summary is that, while the origins of ISIS are a mess, there's definitely a strong element of anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism in there (as typified by the early Al-Qaeda links). ISIS isn't just a totalitarian state or even an Islamist theocracy.


So the local dictators started it (Hussein, Assad), but the response from the West wasn't/hasn't been the best long-term solution.

That a fair statement?

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Jeb Bush is calling for barring all non-Christian Syrian refugees.

That makes him the moderate. The rest of the GOP presidential contenders are all saying NO Syrian refugees.

So yep, the poorly aimed 'backlash' that people feared has well and truly begun... just not in the country that was actually attacked.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
The rest of the GOP presidential contenders are all saying NO Syrian refugees.

This is stupid. The U.S. is far better able to absorb the large number of refugees than are any of the Western European countries.

I know it's considered evil and right-wing, by European standards, to refuse to allow infinite immigration, but if it outstrips assimilation by a wide enough margin, your country in essence becomes a suburb of the the ones the immigrants all left. The U.S. has a larger assimilated population and a vastly larger area, so it can absorb a lot more immigrants without any real problems.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

So the local dictators started it (Hussein, Assad), but the response from the West wasn't/hasn't been the best long-term solution.

That a fair statement?

Nope. The local dictators of secular bent are what the jihadists hate the most because in their eyes they hold power unlawfully (since there can onlt be one Caliph, he needs to be a man of faith, and according to some sects to be of Mohammed's tribe). These people DON'T RECOGNIZE BORDERS between States. They consider them something imposed by infidels while the land of Islam in their eyes is one and should be constantly growing until it encompasses all the world (enche the constant state of Jihad a Caliph needs to endorse, breaking it only with temporary truces when convenient).

Also, I fear the problem is, at least in part, bwtween the Western World and Islam or more accurately the fundamentalist part of it.
Check out how many wahhabites and salafites are there, and where most of them reside (Saudi Arabia, where it's actually the State religion, and the saudis are BY FAR the biggest financers for the spread of Islam everywhere).
These versions of Islam are not that distant from what Isis preaches and I believe they are NOT compatible with the way westerners see the world.
It's sad but I fear it's true, we can work with islamic people, I very much doubt we can work with wahhabites and salafites though.


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Roger Valertis wrote:
These people DON'T RECOGNIZE BORDERS between States. They consider them something imposed by infidels...

... They kinda have a point there.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

So the local dictators started it (Hussein, Assad), but the response from the West wasn't/hasn't been the best long-term solution.

That a fair statement?

Nope. The local dictators of secular bent are what the jihadists hate the most because in their eyes they hold power unlawfully (since there can onlt be one Caliph, he needs to be a man of faith, and according to some sects to be of Mohammed's tribe). These people DON'T RECOGNIZE BORDERS between States. They consider them something imposed by infidels while the land of Islam in their eyes is one and should be constantly growing until it encompasses all the world (enche the constant state of Jihad a Caliph needs to endorse, breaking it only with temporary truces when convenient).

Also, I fear the problem is, at least in part, bwtween the Western World and Islam or more accurately the fundamentalist part of it.
Check out how many wahhabites and salafites are there, and where most of them reside (Saudi Arabia, where it's actually the State religion, and the saudis are BY FAR the biggest financers for the spread of Islam everywhere).
These versions of Islam are not that distant from what Isis preaches and I believe they are NOT compatible with the way westerners see the world.
It's sad but I fear it's true, we can work with islamic people, I very much doubt we can work with wahhabites and salafites though.

And yet we've been working with Saudi Arabia for decades.

And while "these people" don't recognize borders and only accept a true Islamic Caliphate, "these people" get converts and support based on both popular discontent with the local secular dictators and outrage at various western interventions. Keep the populations happy and peaceful and you don't get the kind of recruitment and support movements like this need. It wouldn't satisfy the existing fanatics, but it guts their efforts to radicalize others.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Roger Valertis wrote:
These people DON'T RECOGNIZE BORDERS between States. They consider them something imposed by infidels...

... They kinda have a point there.

Yes they do. This doesn't change the fact we DO recognize borders between States (well, I suppose someone could claim the whole point of globalization is making everything one gigantic market and that borders are an indehance to that) AND we do not believe in a constant state of holy war to extend the land of Islam. That's what most fundamentalist islamists believe.

Aside from that one should consider how political a religion Islam is. To make a very long story very short for the fundamentalist there can ONLY be theocracy. Islam never had somnething like the French Revolution and the division between State and Church (which for cristianity is actually a pretty ancient concept... "give Caesar what belongs to Caesar" and all that, besides the historical evolution of Christianitythat always had some sort of distinction between State and Church, even in the middle ages with the concept of universalism) is non existent for these "true believers", so ANYONE elected is by definition an unlawful ruler because that's not how the Quran defines as the correct method to decide who should rule.In light of that, how do you think the idea of democracy could be seen by these people?

Btw, check how our steadfast (?) allies, the Saudis are governed: you'll discover they are basically a theocracy who endorses the wahhabite version of Islam. How come we never tried to "bring democracy" to them?

thejeff wrote:
And while "these people" don't recognize borders and only accept a true Islamic Caliphate, "these people" get converts and support based on both popular discontent with the local secular dictators and outrage at various western interventions. Keep the populations happy and peaceful and you don't get the kind of recruitment and support movements like this need. It wouldn't satisfy the existing fanatics, but it guts their efforts to radicalize others.

Yes, and while we "worked with them" they also supported terrorist cells all around the globe. How nice.

The appeal of "Original Islam" is in the fact the early muslim state was in time able to topple to empires and fought on the offensive until as late as the 17th century. Then things changed and they declined. Fanatics explain this with the idea that Islam had forgotten its origins, has become less pure and therefore their god turned his back on them. They believe that if they do exactly what the Prophet and his followers did, then their god will smile upon them once more and Islam will triumph smiting their enemies. A great part of the appeal they have is based on this: their religion, like all religions do, tells them THEY are the CHOSEN PEOPLE. When reality contraddicts this they need to find an explanation, and fundamentalist sects give them exactly that togheter with their solution "let's bring back medieval Islam and all will be well".
As for the last part of your reasoning you are absolitely right. Unfortunately you need to invest resoruces in order to make populations happy and peaceful. Resorces the west (meaning those who rule the west) has no inclination to spend for its own people let alone foreigners. Much better to make agreements with some small and corrupt elites and profit taking those lands resources. It's historically what neo-colonialism is about after all.


Angstspawn wrote:
These people are not Muslims

Except, as pointed out, they follow the Quran and the Hadiths more closely than do their more numerous, more moderate brethren.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:
Btw, check how our steadfast (?) allies, the Saudis are governed: you'll discover they are basically a theocracy who endorses the wahhabite version of Islam. How come we never tried to "bring democracy" to them?

They have oil they were/are willing to sell to the Western infidels.


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CBDunkerson wrote:

Jeb Bush is calling for barring all non-Christian Syrian refugees.

That makes him the moderate. The rest of the GOP presidential contenders are all saying NO Syrian refugees.

So yep, the poorly aimed 'backlash' that people feared has well and truly begun... just not in the country that was actually attacked.

LOL... He sounds down right liberal compared to some of my D&D group.

I'm talking staunch Republicans who want to outlaw Islam... up to, and including death for those who do not comply.

Thank god they are not in a position of power...

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