• Ashok Dhillon

Recurring Attacks in France - Ongoing Insanity of Mass Killings (#11)

France has been under sustained terrorist attacks for some time. Recently, a French/Tunisian dual citizen took it upon himself to right the perceived wrongs of France, whatever they may be, by mowing down by a heavy truck and killing 84 people, and injuring over 200, some critically - men, women, and children - as they gathered in Nice to celebrate France’s Bastille Day.

The attacker must have been convinced he was doing the right and honorable thing and was going to be a righteous martyr for his cause, whatever that cause may have been. His targeting of the general public was deliberate, and obviously remorseless, as he considered them to be an integral part of and inseparable from the State of France and not just innocent people. IF that was the case, it would seem he was condemning France for its war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and perhaps in a larger context, for wars in the Middle East, and thus France's war on Islam.

This conjecture of ours is just that, conjecture, and not confirmed motive(s). But, the authorities, particularly French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, seem to be drawing just such a conclusion. He has labeled the driver to be a ‘jihadist’ of some sort - more than likely drawing that conclusion from the identity of the (killed) attacker, a 31 year old Muslim man.

However, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told France 2 television that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was a "terrorist without doubt linked to radical Islamism in one way or another".

(We reiterate this allegation is not proven yet).

On the other side, ISIS is just as quick to claim this driver to be an ISIS "soldier" even though from the currently known facts about this man, it does not seem likely he had joined the organization in any formal fashion, but may have been influenced by their claim to be fighting for Islam.

But in such ideologically inspired battles each side is willing to ignore or distort the facts for gaining any propaganda advantage whatsoever.

France and the World are in mourning for another tragic and senseless mass killing of innocent people. Such attacks are recurring much too frequently in France, America, the Middle East, and in the rest of World.

This modern day scourge of attacks upon regular citizens in the West, and elsewhere, is not confined to outraged young Muslims bent on exacting revenge for the long decades of war on, and in, Muslim countries; and/or the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim civilians in those wars, excused as unfortunate but unavoidable collateral damage. These attacks are also not confined to Muslim 'jihadists' but are also perpetrated by non-Muslim Western nationals, angry for some other belief or perceived injustice, or cause, or whatever peeve against society or authority triggers them to attack innocent people in their own countries.

These mass killings are fairly common place in the US, but they also occur in most other countries, to a greater or lesser degree.

The ultra-right wing Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik comes to mind in this context. An ultra right wing, white supremacist, ethno-nationalist who called himself "culturally Christian" but practicing "Odinism", and was against Islam and Marxism, and wanted to rid Europe of all Muslims, and who, to promote his cause(s), detonated a van in Oslo, and shot dead 69 unarmed fellow Norwegians in cold blood at a youth camp.

Many other cases of such behavior are known as fairly regular but random events the World over. But, in the case of mostly young Muslim men and women, carrying out deadly attacks in the West, and in Islamic countries, it has become an all too frequent an event, and in fact an epidemic.

In the aftermath of all such horrific incidents, the reaction of the relevant governments is quite predictable. They all vow to stamp out this scourge by seeking out all collaborators in the country, and intensifying their war on global terrorism at the source, usually outside the country.

Currently, in light of these terrorist acts, the stamping out is supposedly to be accomplished by the destruction of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

But is ISIS really the only source? Long prior to the advent of ISIS, was Al Qaeda (the ones responsible for 9/11, and other most grievous attacks), and prior to that (and currently) perhaps the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, there have always been some source, group or organization, country or cause that has spawned terrorists of one kind or the other, with only one thing that has been constant – the targeting of innocent civilians in the name of some cause that the people being targeted have nothing to do with, at least not directly.

For years there was the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its many factions and faces, and to the British a scourge of bombings, kidnappings, and murder. And in the late 1960s and early 1970s were numerous Western, Asian, and South American groups like: the West German Red Army Faction (RAF); Italian Red Brigades; the French Action Directe; and Spain’s Basque ETA; Japan's Red Army; Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers; Nicaraguan Sandinistas; Peruvian Shining Path; and others in the United States, and still other groups numbering in the hundreds that are listed on government lists of terrorist organizations; and still more whose names, organizations and causes have long been forgotten.

Just about all these groups targeted civilians, government installations and agencies, trains, buses, airplanes, buildings etc. to get maximum casualties and notoriety. The causes were also innumerable and according to the members – just – and worthy of murder, torture and terror.

Today, the ‘Islamic’ terrorists are the most active and the most lethal. And that maybe because of the wholesale destruction of Islamic countries by the West in the name of democracy, equality, justice, and other worthy causes, such as removal of weapons of mass destruction, and/or evil dictators who were previously our friends, but now for some inexplicable reason are a general threat and danger to the free World.

Many a time, in the aftermath of such attacks it is said by our free World leaders that these attacks are an attack on our cherished Western values, and our superior way of life. That these attackers can't stand our liberal values in the West, our great way of life, and therefore with irrational and unreasonable hate, they want to destroy us.

That standard accusation unfortunately does not stand the most rudimentary of observations or reasoning, as 'theirs' are sporadic attacks by a few individuals over many years, while we in the West (with the liberal values) have been 'over there' for many decades, manipulating and interfering with their politics, raiding their resources, and in recent decades waging full war upon them. We have caused wholesale destruction of their countries, and inflicted mayhem and death on the citizens. These attacks may be a bit more than 'they' not liking our liberal values.

On the whole, horrific, and evil as these attacks in France and elsewhere are, they pale in comparison to the wholesale slaughter carried out by our governments and armed forces, for decades, in the name of – ‘western values of democracy, equality, justice, security of the World’, etc.

In light of such one sided bias, are these really attacks on our value systems and our way of life? Or are these attacks, the action taken by outraged people who see our destruction of their countries and cultures as horrific attacks on their way of life, their values, culture, religion, and most critically, unjustified wars declared on their countries and on innocent populations? Our "war on terror" did not confine itself to known and proven terrorists, but was war on entire countries and their populations, often those that had little to do with the attacks upon us.

When tens (even hundreds) of thousands of innocent civilians get killed, men, women, children, in the years of endless air raids (bombers, jets, and drones) and ground attacks (assault troops, tanks, missiles) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and now Syria, and we in the West don’t even blink, but callously put it down to unfortunate ‘collateral damage’, we dehumanize them and their ability to feel deep anger, grief and despair.

Their hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, infrastructure, power plants, water treatment plants, roads, shops, houses, cities, entire countries get targeted and decimated (and we get to watch it all on television in real time) and we do not feel enough horror, disbelief or outrage, and we certainly don't grieve enough for them. Would we be so accepting if the roles (God forbid) were reversed?

We do not stand up for their rights. In fact, by and large we are all quite callus to their decades of misery, and the destruction of their countries, homes and their lives.

Now, as so many of them flee these devastated areas and countries, trying to escape with their shattered lives, we in the West find them to be a nuisance, an irritant, a topic of discussion for our political debates and policies. And through it all, we allow our governments to carry on waging war on these people and countries, who never really were a credible threat to us all. In fact, many of these countries (and their rulers) were an ally or friends of the West, when it suited us to call them friends.

With this wholesale destruction being carried out year after year, and to the West it is only strategic resource calculations and overall global maneuverings (as these countries are no threat), we cannot possibly imagine the sense of outrage that people of such countries and cultures must feel towards us. These increasingly frequent suicidal attacks are manifestations of that despair and outrage, and not attacks on our value systems. In fact, our values and way of life are what most young people across the World want, and aspire to.

Instead of making available those opportunities, we send them endless war, usually on trumped up charges.

We have a strange way of demonstrating our value system of freedom, democracy, equality and justice for all, by holding them to a different standard, and holding ourselves to an entirely different standard of perpetual war on them, but peace for us.

If we want these 'jihadist' attacks to stop, we will have to stop attacking them wholesale as countries, there are too many innocent people in the way. We will need to only attack and destroy actual known terrorists. Surely with our ultra sophisticated technology, intelligence (cough) and superior fighting skills, we can take down terrorists without taking down entire countries and populations.

As for the other non 'jihadist' mass shootings and killings, taking place ever more frequently in America, and elsewhere, those issues need a whole different analysis and approach.

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