In Paris, something terrible is happening
November 13, 2015 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Multiple shootings are happening at popular venues and restaurants in Paris The Guardian seems to be very well informed. But here is a link to Liberation as well

At this point, no one really knows what is going on. Maybe this could be a place to gather information
posted by mumimor (1423 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
I didn't want to write this in the post, but several friends are on site. I'll post whatever information they bring below.
posted by mumimor at 2:50 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


BBC live blog

Sounds like explosions outside the Stade du France, an assault on the Bataclan concert venue with possible hostages, and gunfire in the 11th district.
posted by nubs at 2:51 PM on November 13, 2015


mumimor, hope your friends stay safe. Hope everyone stays safe.
posted by nubs at 2:51 PM on November 13, 2015 [26 favorites]


Two confirmed shootings, a bomb attack at a bar near a soccer stadium, and another possible shooting.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:52 PM on November 13, 2015


France 24 Live.
posted by mazola at 2:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great Dismal's timeline has been valuable.

Also hoping all Parisian mefites are safe and sound. Am thinking of my SQ and their family...
posted by infini at 2:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm in Paris and I'm freaking out. My girlfriend lives less than a 100 meters of the Bataclan, the theatre where the attack took place. She's alright.
Hollande is speaking right now.
posted by SageLeVoid at 2:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


[Oof, this is such a big ugly mess that I'm gonna go ahead and just say we'll let this stand as an otherwise not-really-ideal post on the front page rather than trying to defer indefinitely. If folks want to aggregate sources in here, that'd be good.]
posted by cortex at 2:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [79 favorites]


From The Guardian live-stream:
Parisians who live in the neighbourhoods that were under attack tonight have to make their way home. A few are staying put in front of the Bataclan, where they’re held about 400 metres away by police force, while others are now leaving.

A hashtag, #portouverte (Open Door) is now underway: Parisians are offering their hospitality for those who might not be able to take the subway, or just don’t want to right now.
Please stay safe Paris/France.

.
posted by Fizz at 2:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


DEVELOPING: What We Know About The Attacks In Paris
A series of shootings and explosions has been reported in Paris, with early reports indicating that at least 35-40 are dead and that gunmen are holding around 100 hostages at a music venue
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reddit live thread
posted by Kevin Street at 2:55 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fingers crossed for you & your girlfriend, SageLeVoid - stay safe!
posted by nubs at 2:55 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


The death toll estimates keep rising. It's still too soon to know for sure. Oh, Paris.
posted by tommasz at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2015


cortex, I know this was not good, I'm scared senseless
posted by mumimor at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Attacks were at the 90 rue de charonne, at the restaurant le petit cambodge rue Bichat, 3 bombs at the stade de france, and a hostage crisis ongoing at the Bataclan.
Hollande just said he is closing the borders. State of emergency is declared.
posted by SageLeVoid at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2015


Thoughts and prayers to every Parisian, including my family. I hope you are ok.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


The very brief NYT article is saying that there are reports that 39 have died. I'm going now to the other news sources.

What is the timing on this? When did this start?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2015


France live stream Hollande closes borders, state of emergency declared
posted by madamjujujive at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2015


I have been watching the livestream on France 24 live (English news).
posted by PussKillian at 2:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




It started about an hour ago, maybe a little longer.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015


Scary stuff. : ( Hope all the Parisian Mefites are safe and sound.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the France/Germany soccer game, you can hear the explosion:

https://twitter.com/NBCSN/status/665294476110352384
posted by splen at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fox just cut away from President Hollande because Shep couldn't understand him, though he "definitely" used the word "terrorist." Earlier there was an analyst on who couldn't resist sports metaphors saying these coordinated attacks "were no pickup game".

Stay classé now, Fox.
posted by chavenet at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


France24 has unconfirmed reports of gunfire at Les Halles as well.
posted by theory at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015


There have been a series of attacks. One in a restaurant and one in the Bataclan Concert Hall. At least 40 deaths reported and up to 100 hostages in the Bataclan. (These are AP reports and from live TV)
posted by madamjujujive at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuck. I'm just coming up for air after a really crazy day at work, and this is not what I wanted to see when I logged in here.

Stay safe, Parisian mefites. I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Be safe everyone, glad I stayed home tonight.

Fraula you online?
posted by ellieBOA at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


cortex, I know this was not good, I'm scared senseless

No worries, you're fine. More a note for flaggers; I totally understand the instinct to post.
posted by cortex at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Iridic at 3:00 PM on November 13, 2015


Christ alive. RIP to the innocent. Stay safe, everybody.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:01 PM on November 13, 2015


My heart goes out to Paris tonight, and to everyone who is affected by this, no matter where they may be.

Thanks for keeping this thread open for us, mods. And for all who can and need to do so: remember that it's okay to step away from the news. It's okay to take care of yourselves when it all gets too much.
posted by harujion at 3:01 PM on November 13, 2015 [20 favorites]


Paris mefites, Parisians everywhere - my heart is with you.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


Is there anything about these locations that gives an indication of what the terrorists were after? I take it these aren't predominately Jewish areas or something like that - seems more widespread/random.
posted by Mid at 3:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The hostage situation at the Bataclan theater involved a concert by the American band Eagles of Death Metal. Reports of approximately 100 hostages at the theater.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 3:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Despite all of the stereotypes you sometimes hear I was treated very well in Paris, particularly by some firemen who showed me around their station and swapped shirts and patches with me. I look forward to going back. I hope that this all ends without further loss of life. Very sad.
posted by wintermind at 3:03 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Stade had a football match on, France vs. Germany; the concert venue had a performance by Eagles of Death Metal.

Not sure about the restaurant.
posted by nubs at 3:04 PM on November 13, 2015


Bataclan in the twitter feed seems to tell us that the visitors in the concerthall are being executed one by one.
posted by ouke at 3:04 PM on November 13, 2015


This is horrifying.
posted by naju at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not long ago I saw some French TV stations reporting (by way of strap line) that the theater had been stormed by police, then those lines disappeared. Maybe that's happening and they want to keep it quiet while the police activity is underway. The reports are of 100 hostages but only one hostage-taker with a shotgun. His odds don't seem good, but even still; scary as fuck.
posted by chavenet at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2015


Not jewish areas. They hit a cambodgian restaurant, a bar, a music venue and the stadium. I don't understand the logic except that those places were all packed with people.
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks, cortex, for leaving this up. I know it is not ideal, but community is what we turn to in tragedy, and for many of us, Metafilter is a big important community.
posted by nubs at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [71 favorites]


The Eagles of Death Metal are not at all what they sound like from the name.

"In a 2003 interview Homme [the singer] described the sound of the band as a combination of 'bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals.'"
posted by Mid at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Please please please please please for the love of god don't let this spark a new wave of Islamophobia. I don't think I can take another round of it.
posted by Talez at 3:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [107 favorites]


I'm not much of a pray-er, but my thoughts are with those hostages and everyone affected.
posted by emjaybee at 3:07 PM on November 13, 2015


Stay safe. Love from DC.
posted by zennie at 3:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's one of the things I'm afraid of too, Talez.
posted by emjaybee at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Theatre/concert hostage situations have been a secret nightmare of mine ever since the one in Moscow where so many died. Just reading about it is absolutely terrifying. I can't imagine what those involved in this and their loved ones must be going through right now. I can only hope there is a swift ending to it before more lives are lost.

Please be safe everyone!
posted by harujion at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


By the way, reports that the band themselves are OK and safe. There are links here with that update but just wanted to make it clear in thread.
posted by naju at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2015


Merde. So horrible.
They're announcing the closing of borders as a measure of security (to prevent terrorists from escaping). Maximum security alert on the entire French territory.
And the Bataclan...! so many bands play there it's one of the regular European venues for tours. It's so awful.
posted by bitteschoen at 3:08 PM on November 13, 2015


This is fucking horrifying.
posted by homunculus at 3:09 PM on November 13, 2015


Holy fuck
posted by angrycat at 3:10 PM on November 13, 2015


Relevant.
posted by Aizkolari at 3:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


Reddit hasn't declared victory or captured the killers yet, but they have an outstanding link thread going on with this top comment loaded with links and pics. There's also a Reddit Livestream, which is a relatively new gadget there, and it's links only, no comments.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Laura Haim, White House correspondent for Canal Plus, is reporting that witnesses claimed some of the shooters shouted something having to do with Syria before opening fire.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 3:11 PM on November 13, 2015




Note if you're a Paris-area mefite or otherwise want to check in one direction or the other on that front, here is a MetaTalk thread for it, though let's keep the more general discussion of the situation over here.
posted by cortex at 3:12 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]




The eyewitness reports and phone videos coming in are unreal. A Friday night out, and suddenly you're in the middle of a battlefield. What a nightmare.
posted by theodolite at 3:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




The at least one of the explosions at the Stade de France was quite audible on the TV broadcast from the France-Germany match - a very loud boom that brought the action on the pitch to a halt. Multiple sources report this as a suicide bombing.
posted by theory at 3:14 PM on November 13, 2015


Bitteschoen, the borders were closed in advance of the climate change conference, that happened earlier this week b
posted by ellieBOA at 3:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of confusion right now, with people discovering posts on social media and spreading unconfirmed rumors. The only things that have been confirmed are the restaurant shooting, the explosions near the stadium, and the hostage situation in the concert hall.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:16 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Live Sky News stream on Youtube. Just reported that the latest count is 6 attacks, 40+ dead
posted by rosswald at 3:17 PM on November 13, 2015


Seen just one tweet about Louvre and Pompidou center, waiting to see if there's any further credible news on this
posted by infini at 3:18 PM on November 13, 2015


Hi ellieBOA, glad to see you here. I nearly went into Paris this evening. Am safe. In shock. Haven't heard back from all my friends, but it could possibly be because they're in shock as well. That's what I'm hoping anyhow :(

Was definitely orchestrated, everything happened at once. Hollande did indeed call it at terrorist attack, even said they knew who they were.

this is so very sad.
posted by fraula at 3:20 PM on November 13, 2015 [48 favorites]


Please pay attention to who you're linking to. Some of the sources cited here have their own irrelevant agendas; let's not help them spread their bullcrap.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [30 favorites]


It's awful Fraula :(
posted by ellieBOA at 3:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


.

Dear gods this is horrifying.

Is there any more information on the CNN texting story? The source seems... but you never know.
posted by Deoridhe at 3:22 PM on November 13, 2015


closed in advance of the climate change conference
posted by infini at 3:22 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015


The source is a Facebook account.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is horrible. I'm safe. Most of my friends are. Still waiting on info for some. most bars have closed, with people inside waiting for events to pass.
I'm in the 12th district. It's eerily quiet, with the sound of sirens ever 5 mins, then silence.

Stay safe everyone.
posted by motdiem2 at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [35 favorites]


.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015


To clarify confusion, from last week:

France's move to "close its borders for several weeks," as Cazeneuve called it, does not mean that people cannot come into France from other European countries during this period. Rather they can enter the country after being subjected to stricter border control measures.


Tonight's closure seems more like closing for real.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Liberté, égalité, fraternité
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [39 favorites]


To clarify, the explosions at Stade de France were outside the stadium. At least one of the them, the reported suicide bombing confirmed by Agence France Presse, was outside a nearby bar.
posted by theory at 3:26 PM on November 13, 2015


I linked it because there were collaborating statements off of France 24 (whose live feed I am watching), and if this really is based off the Mumbai attack playbook, it makes sense that that would be next.

Police have moved buses into position around the concert hall, and that usually means a raid is happening now or is about to happen, and that's a very good thing.
posted by Punkey at 3:26 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tonight's closure seems more like closing for real.

Yes, it's only possible when a state of emergency is declared, which Hollande has just done. The first time (in Metropolitan France) since the 1960s.
posted by sobarel at 3:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


ellieB: oh I don't know about that but I was just referring as I heard the French President's statement, he spoke about the closing of borders specifically after this - they were translating it on Sky News earlier (I am following on tv as well).

It's also on Libération I see: "Dans une allocution télévisée vendredi à 23h50, le Président de la République François Hollande a décrêté l'Etat d'urgence en France et la fermeture des frontières après des «attaques terroristes». "

Commenters were saying it's part of the measures of etat d'urgence - but I don't remember hearing it's ever been done before after attacks? was it done after the Charlie Hebdo shootings?

[on edit: I see this has already been answered above, thanks!]
posted by bitteschoen at 3:28 PM on November 13, 2015


Wikipedia page... not much there at the moment, understandably
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:28 PM on November 13, 2015


Paris taxi drivers have switched off their meters and are taking people home without charge tonight.
posted by theory at 3:29 PM on November 13, 2015 [81 favorites]


.
posted by Carillon at 3:29 PM on November 13, 2015


Commenters were saying it's part of the measures of etat d'urgence - but I don't remember hearing it's ever been done before after attacks? was it done after the Charlie Hebdo shootings?

No it wasnt, last state of emergency was 10 years ago during the riots, if i'm not mistaken.
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, seems this is tangible border closing. Here's a tweet from a friend of friend that I can offer as cite but not linking to:

Just landed in France & pilot just announcing it's unclear if we can get off plane as borders closed
posted by infini at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Closing the borders is in addition to the state of emergency. This is distinct from the COP21 thing as well.
posted by motdiem2 at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


France 24 reports that Paris' taxi drivers have switched their meters off for tonight and are driving people home for free, so good for them.
posted by Punkey at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Horrific. Utterly horrific.

Stay safe and take care of yourself everyone. If you need to step away from the media please do.
posted by kanata at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


The source is a Facebook account.

Please, please, let them be saved. I can't even imagine.
posted by Deoridhe at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


NPR has better record on this stuff.

There is always some bogus reporting done in these types of events and some of the above links are kinda sketchy.

All the same, Regardless the individual accuracy of each report, something horrible is happening right now.
posted by midmarch snowman at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


apparantly (Guardian citing Twitter) taxis are now taking people off the streets for free
posted by runincircles at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




I have been watching the the France 24 coverage and it seems very responsible/careful with the facts.
posted by Mid at 3:32 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:33 PM on November 13, 2015


Reddit live thread is halting coverage on Bataclan. Gag request from French police.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:33 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something appears to be happening at the Bataclan. Paris police have requested no media reporting.
posted by tommasz at 3:33 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by jlbartosa at 3:33 PM on November 13, 2015


That reddit livestream link above is an excellent resource. Utterly horrifying, it just gets worse.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2015


For what it's worth I just want to say to everyone in Paris that this is so heartbreaking and it feels like the heart of Europe has been hit and agh sorry I cannot find better words. Please be strong for all of us too. Don't let the bastards win.
posted by bitteschoen at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


There was a Periscope feed from across the street from the Bataclan. I skimmed through it—police vans showed up (Parisian sirens are quite musical), and then a lot of red vans showed up, and then many of them left.

When I went back to it to check the link so I could post, it was gone. Like France 24, I can't confirm if there has been a police raid on the Bataclan at the moment.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2015


Again - thank you cortex for leaving this up. I had not watched the news - just got home and opened Mefi for some light-hearted goodness and saw this :( I'll go look at the links in a moment but I just do not understand what such people hope to gain by this. It does not terrorize so much as it solidifies a country's and people's resolve against the perpetrators and their ideals.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lots of praise for France 24's coverage all across my Twitter feed.
posted by Punkey at 3:35 PM on November 13, 2015


AFP reports police storming bataclan, some tv reporting hostage situation over. Fingers crossed.
posted by chavenet at 3:35 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by Vigilant at 3:35 PM on November 13, 2015


Horrific. My heart goes out to those who are under attack.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:35 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there any more information on the CNN texting story? The source seems... but you never know.

As someone who can read French ok, the thing I learned from following English and French coverage when the Charlie Hebdo attacks happened was to distrust just about anything on CNN reflexively - they do a terrible job at reporting in real time on something relying on French sources.

Tonight's closure seems more like closing for real.

A substantial piece of the French border with Germany (for example) isn't even demarcated with signage, so this isn't quite how it sounds. But at points like airports, ferry terminals, etc. it's likely a different story.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Are the (non-suicide bombing) assailants believed to all to at the Bataclan, or are there more at large?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2015


I was in London in 2005 and I remember the fear and uncertainty all too well. This seems many times worse. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this, in Paris and everywhere else.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


NYT says Hollande closed borders to prevent the attackers from escaping.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm so scared and sad and horrified and worried for everyone in France right now. I hope everyone is safe. Please be safe.
posted by Fizz at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2015


Atrocious and cowardly.

Stay safe, French mefites and people of France.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 3:38 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]




.
posted by sunset in snow country at 3:38 PM on November 13, 2015




Are the (non-suicide bombing) assailants believed to all to at the Bataclan, or are there more at large?

Likely more at large. Reports indicate near-simultaneous attacks on 5-7 locations.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:39 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:40 PM on November 13, 2015


be safe. that's enough.
posted by sapagan at 3:40 PM on November 13, 2015


Prends soin, tout le monde.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


.
posted by joedan at 3:42 PM on November 13, 2015


Confirmed assault on the concert hall, local unconfirmed reports of arrests being made.
posted by Punkey at 3:42 PM on November 13, 2015


It's reminiscent of Mumbai style attacks
posted by madamjujujive at 3:43 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


.
posted by drezdn at 3:43 PM on November 13, 2015


This seems like it might be the Mumbai attack playbook. A couple of terrorists armed with guns and grenades just go out into a city and kill as much as they can. Horrible.
posted by zipadee at 3:44 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


@franceinfo says up to four shooters at bataclan
posted by chavenet at 3:44 PM on November 13, 2015


Muslim members of MetaFilter and people sensitive to that racial and religious discrimination should be warned - a lot of the links have insults and slurs in the responses.
posted by Deoridhe at 3:44 PM on November 13, 2015 [45 favorites]


.
posted by qcubed at 3:45 PM on November 13, 2015


Periscope is still serving video if you have a broadcast loaded but is overloaded as far as selecting other broadcasts in the vicinity.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just do not understand what such people hope to gain by this. It does not terrorize so much as it solidifies a country's and people's resolve against the perpetrators and their ideals.

A reactionary response by France--social, political, and/or military--is a powerful recruitment tool for extremists and a baiting of (another) Western nation into a resource draining, destabilizing war without end.

Bin Laden's victory wasn't 3000+ dead on the ground and some iconic buildings damaged or destroyed on a single bright morning in September.
posted by blue suede stockings at 3:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [105 favorites]


People sensitive to horrible things should stay away from twitter. Block with abandon, especially from politician on the far right, who are already saying horrible things.
posted by motdiem2 at 3:47 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Linked above, but worth being explict. As this unfolds, please keep On the Media's Breaking News Handbook in mind.
  1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
  2. Don't trust anonymous sources.
  3. Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.
  4. There's almost never a second shooter.
  5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.
    • "We are receiving reports" - sources are claiming something has happened, but it has not been confirmed.
    • "We are seeking confirmation" - the news outlet is confident, but still can't confirm.
    • "We can confirm" - information has come from multiple sources, and the news outlet feels confident that it can claim something as an actual fact.
    • "We have learned" - how a news outlet declares it has a scoop.

  6. Look for news outlets close to the incident.
  7. Compare multiple sources.
  8. Big news brings out the fakers. And Photoshoppers.
  9. Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.
posted by Frayed Knot at 3:47 PM on November 13, 2015 [185 favorites]




Which probably means the assault is already over with. The French police know how to handle situations like this.
posted by Punkey at 3:49 PM on November 13, 2015


Do not click on Arabic hashtags if you don't read Arabic - it's a great way to accidentally see things you can't unsee.
posted by desjardins at 3:49 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


If you're reading things on twitter, you might want to use tweetdeck so you can block video/picture previews.
posted by angelchrys at 3:51 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just do not understand what such people hope to gain by this. It does not terrorize so much as it solidifies a country's and people's resolve against the perpetrators and their ideals.

The people who do these things - whoever they are, across political spectra - hope that hatred will be roused against their own community/belief/group so that those people will be pushed into supporting the cause. They're hoping to cause panic and hatred, because the one thing they don't want is that their own people should be happy and free within the society under attack. They always want their own group to be hated by the majority so that they'll have no choice but to be recruited or to quietly support the aims of the violent. It is not just violence against the targets, it's violence against the people they purport to be "defending", and it's strategic. It's coercive and fascist and there is no ghost of a political justification for this kind of thing.
posted by Frowner at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [201 favorites]


I'm going to have a hard time sleeping tonight thinking about all the dead and the grief of the survivors, all the way over here in the USA. My heart hurts so bad for you, France.
posted by wires at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


An information phone number has been opened by police for anyone concerned about loved ones in Paris: 0800 40 60 05
posted by theory at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




.
posted by klangklangston at 3:52 PM on November 13, 2015


The borders don't seem to be closed or even guarded between France and Switzerland right now. Be safe y'all.
posted by JiffyQ at 3:53 PM on November 13, 2015


Seven separate attacks now being reported by a French correspondent for the White House.
posted by cooker girl at 3:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's Laura Haim with Canal+ -- she's also reporting that (some of) the gunmen who attacked the restaurant were the ones who then proceeded to the concert hall.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 3:55 PM on November 13, 2015


According to SkyNews, Reuters says that the Bataclan operation over and attackers are dead.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:55 PM on November 13, 2015


Same correspondent says storm on Bataclan happening right now.
posted by cooker girl at 3:55 PM on November 13, 2015


(Meant to say that Reuters says police confirmed it.)
posted by mudpuppie at 3:56 PM on November 13, 2015


Le Monde and other French media reporting there were "at least 7 attacks" in Paris and Ile-de-France.
posted by bitteschoen at 3:56 PM on November 13, 2015


Vox has a map and descriptions of the attacks confirmed by the police, and it supports a theory that some of the more clued-in people on my Twitter feeds have been floating - that there really are two separate attacks. The bombing at the Stade de France, and then a series of drive-by shootings conducted on the way to the attack on the Bataclan.
posted by Punkey at 3:56 PM on November 13, 2015




I found a BBC live feed for those who don't have cable

( I use adblock so I have no idea what kinds of ads that site has - fyi)
posted by AGameOfMoans at 3:57 PM on November 13, 2015


Vive la France
posted by Apocryphon at 3:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like the Bataclan attack is over.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:59 PM on November 13, 2015


On Sunday my wife is supposed to check in to a hotel literally one block from the Bataclan. She doesn't know what to do.
posted by furtive at 4:01 PM on November 13, 2015


I said this elsewhere, but:

I hope there will be no more dead, and that the survivors can find the strength to put the pieces of their lives back together. But I also hope that we don't tailspin into wild speculation, hatred-fueled vengeance aimed at already scared and marginalized people, and growing nationalism/militarism. I hope these things, but I'm still afraid they'll happen anyway. We can continue our volleys of reactive violence, state-sanctioned and otherwise, and doom us all, or we can resolve to break the pointless and tragic cycle of fear. I have to believe we are capable of more and better than we've been doing so far. Peace.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:01 PM on November 13, 2015 [56 favorites]


.
posted by Little Dawn at 4:02 PM on November 13, 2015




Nous sommes tous Francais.
posted by Ruki at 4:03 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


Aya Hirano, I think the blowback on this is going to be fierce.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:03 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think so, too. Sadly.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Lets do what we can to check it. This is a small group of violent people who for whatever reason want to make the world more violent. We are a large group of people who would open our homes, give cab rides for free, and reach out to comfort and support those around us. I prefer us to them.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [105 favorites]


The refugees lives are going to be harder now, and the knock-on effects across Europe...
posted by qcubed at 4:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


I fear you are right, Any Portmanteau. Twitter is a total shit storm right now.
posted by Frayed Knot at 4:06 PM on November 13, 2015


Islamophobes everywhere are celebrating tonight.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


The blowback is already fierce. I've already seen horrible, horrible Islamophobic things about this on my Facebook feed. In my own small way, I'm doing what I can to check it.
posted by Ruki at 4:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aya Hirano, I think the blowback on this is going to be fierce.

Yeah. I'm scared for Parisians right now, but I'm fucking terrified for the refugees already in and trying to get into Europe.
posted by barchan at 4:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [35 favorites]


I never thought I'd be so happy to hear that Eagles of Death Metal isn't a metal band. A metalhead friend of mine is over there, hasn't checked in and I was starting to helplessly freak a little. Sounds like a nightmare over there, thoughts with everyone caught up in this.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm staying way the hell away from all social media. Practice self-care, everyone <3
posted by naju at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Looks like those in Paris can mark themselves as safe on Facebook here.
posted by carrienation at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now there are unconfirmed reports of the Calais Refugee Camp being set on fire.
posted by Frayed Knot at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015


The operation to free hostages at the concert was apparently successful.
posted by all about eevee at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apparently a refugee camp in Calais is on fire?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking of refugees: forest fire in Calais, where a great many refugees are camped.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The English UN-style translation of François Hollande's speech was scary-sounding to this American.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:11 PM on November 13, 2015


there really are no words.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


On Sunday my wife is supposed to check in to a hotel literally one block from the Bataclan. She doesn't know what to do.

For those who look white enough, that's going to be the safest block in Paris by Sunday. (The emotional effects of being that close are another story of course.) I'd be much more worried for tourists traveling while brown, if we're talking about foreign visitors.
posted by blue suede stockings at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Side note: Les News chose to call it "the jungle" near Calais, which caused a small amount of confusion for French Twitter users.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015


infinitewindow, how so?
posted by all about eevee at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015


Regarding blowback, I'm seeing reports of refugee camps on fire but I don't speak French and thus don't know if they are in Paris or elsewhere...?

http://ban.jo/News/Europe/20151113/Reported-Refugee-Camp-On-Fire-In-France-Calais/
posted by Jacqueline at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015


@all about eevee - do you have a reference / what does "success" mean? all i see is that it ended. and a report of explosives been thrown into the hostages.
posted by andrewcooke at 4:12 PM on November 13, 2015


The "jungle" in Calais is a refugee camp, not a forest
posted by mumimor at 4:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


The fire in Calais is a hoax
posted by mahershalal at 4:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Wow, AFP's Twitter: #BREAKING Around 100 dead in attack on Paris concert venue: police
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:14 PM on November 13, 2015


TV just said quoting AFP that there are a 100 dead in the bataclan. i'm going to be sick.
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:15 PM on November 13, 2015


The fire in Calais is a hoax

Oh thank goodness. Hopefully the hoax doesn't give anyone ideas...
posted by Jacqueline at 4:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


The fire in Calais is a hoax

Oh thank God. Or whatever.
posted by jokeefe at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2015


REMINDER:

If you find this kind of news overwhelming, distressing, and traumatic. Consider signing out of your social media/news-feeds. In a few days the news will settle and more truthful and reliable information will be out. And emotions will also not be at as high a level.

I for one will be checking out of this thread and my twitter feed for the next couple of days. It's just too much for me. I hope everyone is safe.

And remember, we should all try to be kinder to each other.

Be safe Paris/France.
posted by Fizz at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2015 [46 favorites]


infinitewindow, how so?

I was listening to this speech too, and I agree, it was scary. Hollande talked a lot about not letting terrorists across the borders, about staying strong in the face of terrorism. Reading between the lines, I'm sadly anticipating more Islamophobia and even less hope for refugees.
posted by Ragini at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2015


I was out all day in a van moving cargo and didn't hear about this till I arrived at home about 15 minutes ago. I am so damned tired of this shit and the shit it spawns. It helps no one and hurts more than we can count.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: we can resolve to break the pointless and tragic cycle of fear

Even knowing the realities of the situation and the likely social and political blowback, I've also mentally resolved myself not to give in to fear, and not to be a contributor to anyone's alienation. Because what causes any public attack like this but alienation at its core? I know folks who would angrily ask "Well, what would you do to prevent this from happening?" and I think the hard thing is to accept that sometimes we can't, at least not in a free society. I've decided to sign up for first responder and disaster training in my area so as to at least have a useful skill in that situation. I don't know the answers. But I, like others, don't want to be part of this pointless cycle either.

Have courage, and peace back to you too.
posted by orbit-3 at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


On Sunday my wife is supposed to check in to a hotel literally one block from the Bataclan. She doesn't know what to do.

It will be very safe there if access is allowed at all, because it will be swarming with security forces. And it would be a fine gesture of solidarity and a "screw you" to terrorists to carry on as planned. Terrorists want to terrify and the best counter is to ignore them.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Sky News Live Feed.

Also saying 100.
posted by mochapickle at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015


Everyone wants an excuse to shut out people in need, and this provides one.
posted by Frowner at 4:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yes, AFP is now reporting "mass casualties" -- approx. 100 dead -- in the theater.

.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 4:18 PM on November 13, 2015




Wow.
posted by all about eevee at 4:19 PM on November 13, 2015


La Presse here in Canada just gave this background on the Bataclan as a venue.

It has a capacity of 1500.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:19 PM on November 13, 2015




I'm getting these alerts on Facebook, telling me "[FRIEND] was marked safe during Paris Terror Attacks".

I mean, I appreciate the info and all, but a) those friends already posted to let us know they're safe and b) is it wrong of me to feel like this is kinda skeezy? Is this new? Is there a better way to convey this info than the same format I might learn a friend went to someone's birthday party?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:20 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


all about eevee, some of the lines from the speech included:

"The people who did this want to make us afraid. And there is reason to be afraid."
"We know who did this—we know who is responsible." Not said in a "We have confirmed a specific organization" tone, more like "We all know it was those people."
Hollande said at least two things that contradicted each other (I can't remember exactly what they were at the moment).
posted by infinitewindow at 4:20 PM on November 13, 2015


This is sickening.
posted by nubs at 4:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this new?

It's a new feature they added in April.

I like it. People are going to jump on Facebook to find out if their friends and family are safe anyway, so why not facilitate that process to minimize the amount of time spent worrying about loved ones?
posted by Jacqueline at 4:23 PM on November 13, 2015 [26 favorites]


I'm getting these alerts on Facebook....Is this new?

I had one a few weeks ago from a friend who was in Santiago during an earthquake. That was the first one I'd seen.
posted by penguin pie at 4:23 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I did not get to hear the speech, which is why I am asking.
posted by all about eevee at 4:23 PM on November 13, 2015


100 people. Jesus.
I wonder how the whole paradigm of how law enforcement respond to hostages even applies when they are suicide-attacks.
posted by cacofonie at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by bstreep at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015


I've been trying to follow the breaking news on Twitter but it's heartbreaking because along with the death and horror and tragedy... there's so much hate. And the people spreading that hate don't seem to realize that they and the terrorists are actually on the same side: the side that cheers for violence.

All my love tonight to the people of Paris. And the beautiful people opening their homes, offering a ride and coming together to show that love triumphs over hate and fear. I hope we can all come together in the coming days to remember that. No scapegoats. No enemies. Just defending the vulnerable and protecting the weak.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015 [35 favorites]


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane - I'm okay with it and I'm watching that feed closely. I remember waiting to hear about each friend who worked in the World Trade Center. I'll take a FB notification.
posted by 26.2 at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


@infinitewindow - The DGSE is one of the top security agencies in the world. They probably have a pretty good idea who's done this already. Not that the wording is any less unfortunate.
posted by Punkey at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Virtblue at 4:24 PM on November 13, 2015


I like the Facebook thing actually. It's very efficient, and saves me from messaging dozens of people or overwhelming phone lines. [never thought I'd say this - but this is actually useful]
posted by motdiem2 at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


I think the Facebook thing is a good idea. It was adopted a couple of years ago as I recall - it allows 1 person to quickly communicate that they're ok in way that most of their friends/family will find out, even if they only have the briefest access to the internet. Having a sister who almost lost her life during SE Asian tsunami some years ago, I completely understand the impetus behind developing it.
posted by modernnomad at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


@cacofonie - You hit as hard as you can and as fast as you can. Pull the attention of the shooters away from the hostages and towards the police, and stop the attackers as soon as possible. The French police did an amazing job keeping casualties as limited as they are.
posted by Punkey at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Nouvel Obs says also - at least a hundred. "A figure that could still grow."
posted by sapagan at 4:27 PM on November 13, 2015


CBC reporting two gunmen dead in the Bataclan
posted by nubs at 4:27 PM on November 13, 2015



I mean, I appreciate the info and all, but a) those friends already posted to let us know they're safe and b) is it wrong of me to feel like this is kinda skeezy? Is this new? Is there a better way to convey this info than the same format I might learn a friend went to someone's birthday party?


I... Think it's a great idea? It's a streamlined system to quickly communicate to your friends and family that they don't need to worry. I would absolutely use it as soon as the immediate shock wore off.
posted by geegollygosh at 4:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


Of course there will still be the usual political suspects who exploit this but most people who are not extremists or idiots will know that this has nothing to do with refugees, any terrorists organizing attacks at this level have been operating for years in the country and very likely 100% French citizens.

And for all the already existing negative reactions against the massive inflow of refugees, for all the frustrating inability to agree a EU-wide plan, for all the pathetic political chaos the refugee crisis is creating, can we all please also keep in mind that Europe in general (Germany first of course) is taking in huge numbers of refugees and migrants of all kinds and origins every single day, and rescue operations in the Mediterranean are ordinary daily work by now, and there are a lot of on the ground efforts to provide shelter and food and assistance, lots of people doing their best. Don't focus only on the awfulness, not now please.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


There were news reports that an attack on a French naval base was foiled a few days ago, so the French may well have a very strong idea who was involved in this one, too.
posted by dilettante at 4:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


BBC is reporting just now unconfirmed reports that the Calais camp is on fire. It may not be a hoax - emphasize unconfirmed but it is notable that the BBC is putting it out.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:29 PM on November 13, 2015


Apparently Reddit admins have chosen an official stickied live news thread for the event and are trying to consolidate updates there:
https://www.reddit.com/live/vwwmdb26t78v

So if you were following one or more of the other Reddit threads, you might want to mosey over there instead.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: "I mean, I appreciate the info and all, but a) those friends already posted to let us know they're safe and b) is it wrong of me to feel like this is kinda skeezy? Is this new?"

It is fairly new, it was built out in response to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami by Japanese Facebook staff using the ideas in their national earthquake response systems (they have elaborate and official social webs to ensure everyone checks in). If you're in the area affected it prompts you to check "I'm safe," posts that to your friends' feeds so they know, and provides a way for a regular Facebook user to check all their "friends in the affected area" to see their safety status and their updates in one place.

It's actually pretty clever, especially if you're able to check in by text, since text messages may go over the network when you can't make a call or load internet.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [27 favorites]


A pox upon humanity. Aya Hirano has it right. We've got to break this pointless spiral that reminds me of Harry Harrison's Deathworld
posted by infini at 4:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Alright, I see your many points about the FB thing. Must have just been my initial gut reaction. Nvm the derail.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:32 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


BBC isn't the most credible source right now... they're also making noises about the refugees and their journos on twitter are headless chickens
posted by infini at 4:32 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


.
posted by helloknitty at 4:33 PM on November 13, 2015


Twitter is just unbelievably shitty in this situation, and I don't even follow the kind of people who are posting hateful stuff. So much stupid misinformation. Social media is good for a lot of things, but reporting breaking news isn't one of them.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:33 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


My heart goes out to the people of Paris and France at this moment. The retribution both physical and political targeted at Muslims and refugees in Europe is going to be insane.
posted by RedShrek at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


BBC just now backtracked on the Calais fire thing so yes, it's a hoax

(Reuters just now upped the death toll to 140 :( )
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2015


Police saying that they killed three attackers in the Bataclan raid.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:36 PM on November 13, 2015


And for all the already existing negative reactions against the massive inflow of refugees, for all the frustrating inability to agree a EU-wide plan, for all the pathetic political chaos the refugee crisis is creating, can we all please also keep in mind that Europe in general (Germany first of course) is taking in huge numbers of refugees and migrants of all kinds and origins every single day, and rescue operations in the Mediterranean are ordinary daily work by now, and there are a lot of on the ground efforts to provide shelter and food and assistance, lots of people doing their best. Don't focus only on the awfulness, not now please.

We closed Slush 2015 last night and something one of the speakers said stood out for me "Welcome. We have no jobs. Lets create them together"
posted by infini at 4:36 PM on November 13, 2015


My heart is with Paris and France. I hope you can grieve and heal together, and find some justice without letting these twisted zealots infect you with their fear and hate. Fraternité from Atlanta, Georgia.
posted by biogeo at 4:38 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Reuters just now upped the death toll to 140"

The Guardian update about this says that it was reported by Reuters and from a City Hall source. I think the 100 estimate from the police about the Bataclan is very likely reliable, but anything beyond that I think is still pretty questionable at this point.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:39 PM on November 13, 2015


That 140 number is 100 at the Bataclan and 40 from the other sites.
posted by Punkey at 4:41 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]




If you're a witness, call 197
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:42 PM on November 13, 2015


Before the Bataclan numbers the media was reporting 40; I suspect that 140 number is the combined total of everything so far.

But big grains of salt.
posted by nubs at 4:42 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


holy fuck.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:43 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


My IRL friends have checked in--all safe--and I hope Mefites will continue to do the same.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:44 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone see anything about arrests at the Bataclan? Anyone taken alive?
posted by vrakatar at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2015


If you're having trouble reading the Reddit live thread, turn off "night mode" in RES (took me a few minutes to figure out why it wasn't displaying for me).
posted by Jacqueline at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2015


I'm seeing reports of one person taken alive at Bataclan. Will try and find (reputable) link.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Before the Bataclan numbers the media was reporting 40; I suspect that 140 number is the combined total of everything so far.

Maybe not. The attackers were systematically slaughtering their captives, which forced the police to storm the theater. One report was upward of 100 dead in the theater, and it's entirely possible the number reached 140.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2015


Reaching out from Dallas where multiple people are concerned....
Awaiting any updates from Eagles of Death Metal band mates still unaccounted for. Dave Catchling in particular unaccounted for...
posted by hillabeans at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


@vrakatar - Nothing official, but the wording the authorities have been using leads me to believe that they took at least one of them alive. Lots of "2 attackers killed", not "the attackers were killed and there were two of them". Wouldn't be surprised if the DGSE scooped them up, though.
posted by Punkey at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2015


All my friends and family accounted for and safe. My thoughts with all the friends and families of victims.

Big hug to all parisian mefites
posted by motdiem2 at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2015


My fear is that we are still at the lower bound of numbers, wherever the 140 total comes from.
posted by nubs at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2015


@Chocolate pickle - reference for "systematically slaughtering"?
posted by andrewcooke at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2015


"Before the Bataclan numbers the media was reporting 40; I suspect that 140 number is the combined total of everything so far."

Yeah, my point was that the earlier reporting were estimates and I never saw any actual police sources about it, and they knew about the Bataclan at that point, so there's possibly partial or complete overlap between those estimates and the police Bataclan estimate. And that the Bataclan estimate is from the police after they went in. So I see the 100 number as solid but anything beyond that as pretty uncertain.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2015


NYT article (with map of attacks)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:49 PM on November 13, 2015


[Couple comments deleted, let's not get into "the media response will be worse than the attack itself", which obviously strikes people as downplaying the attack.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2015 [19 favorites]


Witness accounts in The Guardian.
posted by Grangousier at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2015


FN is national front [oh was replying to a deleted comment. delete me?]
posted by andrewcooke at 4:50 PM on November 13, 2015


CBC has the number as 100 from the Bataclan and 40 elsewhere. FWIW.2
posted by nubs at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2015


I'm guessing FN = Fox News

Front National. The French right wing.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


From Hollande's address to the nation:
The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.

This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.
My first fear on hearing the borders had been closed was that the motivation was more the former than the latter.
posted by maryr at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2015


There are no words for this...
posted by Diagonalize at 4:51 PM on November 13, 2015


andrewcooke: one person apparently posting Facebook updates from inside the Bataclan said the attackers were killing the hostages "un par un".
posted by holgate at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Calais refugee camp on fire after all?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2015


wouaaahhh, les spectateurs chantent la marseillaise pendant l'évacuation du stade de France source
posted by infini at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


OK so unless this Polish reporter is outright lying, the refugee camp is actually on fire after all?

https://twitter.com/sekielski/status/665326378322034689
posted by Jacqueline at 4:54 PM on November 13, 2015


All depends upon who you follow on Twitter, ArbitraryAndCapricious, well mine seems quite supportive, relatively informative, and not at all reactionary. It's slightly worse about miss reporting the Calais story though.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The tweet supposedly saying the Calais fire is a hoax is now protected. What was the content/how do we know this is more credible than the people (still) say there (may be...ai..) a fire?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2015


I'm seeing some reporting about the bombs near the stadium -- one of them was said to be in a McDonald's -- but nothing about casualties associated with them. That might be the 40 that was reported early on, but it seems odd that there's not been more specific police statements about this. Or there's been none that I've seen.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2015


http://porteouverteparis.com/ shows places to stay if you're stranded.
posted by tommasz at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2015


Twitter is simultaneously useful and completely useless for keeping up with this shit.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


This was the Facebook post of someone allegedly posting from inside Bataclan about systematic slaughter.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2015


My friend listening to French coverage says it wasn't at a McDonald's, but a Quick?
posted by maryr at 4:57 PM on November 13, 2015


What was the content/how do we know this is more credible than the people (still) say there (may be...ai..) a fire?

If it's the one I'm thinking of, it linked to an article about a past fire at the camp and argued people were just looking at an old story.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:57 PM on November 13, 2015


Can anyone opine on local telecom services? My aunt and uncle arrived via train this morning and are staying in an apartment not a hotel. We haven't been able to get through to them and they haven't gotten in touch with us. How plausible is the most likely scenario which is that they're totally fine but just can't call or text or Internet?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2015


I'm seeing lots of conflicting reports on the Calais fire. FWIW news sources had been reporting violence there for several past nights.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2015


Drinky: I'm thinking of the one linked above as "Calais fire is a hoax." Did it use the same pictures as the Polish reporter, then?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2015


English text of Hollande's speech. Taken from the Guardian:

Here is Reuters’ translation of François Hollande’s address from around 11pm on Friday evening (UK time):

My dear compatriots,
As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are under way in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.

We have, on my decision, mobilised all forces possible to neutralise the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place. I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.

Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France).

The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.

This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.

In these difficult moments, we must - and I’m thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured - show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.

Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.
We must also call on everyone to be responsible.

What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilise its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.

French citizens, we have not completed the operations. There are still some that are extremely difficult. It’s at this moment that the security forces are staging an assault, especially in a place in Paris.

I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.
Long live the Republic and long live France.

posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


There were seven distinct attacks tonight. IIRC, most media outlets were reporting 60+ dead from the other six sites *before* they got the count from the theater.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:59 PM on November 13, 2015


Folks on Twitter saying there are fires at Calais all the time from fallen candles or leaky gas burners. Anyone know anything about previous fires at Calais?
posted by all about eevee at 5:00 PM on November 13, 2015


It's also important to consider that the French government was already under a heightened anti-terror stance for the last 10 months.
posted by RedShrek at 5:01 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Twitter (yes, I know) is now saying that the Calis fire is confirmed by that Polish reporter who reportedly is actually on the ground there. Some of the tweets appear to be actual news-ish sources (yes, I know).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:01 PM on November 13, 2015


The French ambassador to the US just called Trump a vulture. source
posted by infini at 5:01 PM on November 13, 2015 [60 favorites]


Dave and Matt from Eagles of the Stone age (part of the crew) are ok according to social media.
posted by hillabeans at 5:02 PM on November 13, 2015


Thank you any portmanteau in a storm, that seems like a more nuanced translation than France 24's UN-style live translation.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:03 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The previous explosion allegedly was caused by a burning gas canister, according to Guardian.

There might be reasons authorities don't want to widely publicize the location of this camp, given the arson attacks in Sweden in recent weeks.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:03 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sky News relaying a report from City Hall in Paris: 118 + 40 dead.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:04 PM on November 13, 2015


I haven't been able to look at any of this. This is a city I love so much.

My heart is broken.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:04 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


RE: the Calais thing, I just want to say I've had CNN on here in America for the last two hours and Calais has not been mentioned once. Don't know if that adds to denying it or not.
posted by dnash at 5:05 PM on November 13, 2015


That Trump tweet. I know it's Trump, but Jesus.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


CNN is saying 149 dead, total.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:06 PM on November 13, 2015


It's not on CBC, either. I was assuming big sources like that want super-sure confirmation (hahahha....you know what I mean....they want video or a talking head).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:07 PM on November 13, 2015


The French ambassador to the US just called Trump a vulture.

Trump's tweet was from January. The ambassador was replying in error. Though I agree with his assessment of Trump's character.

posted by Xavier Xavier at 5:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


RE: the Calais thing, I just want to say I've had CNN on here in America for the last two hours and Calais has not been mentioned once. Don't know if that adds to denying it or not.

Yeah, no French news I am following have mentioned Calais.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2015


Found out my friends there are safe. A few of them were really close to the cafes. This is so heartbreaking :(
posted by gucci mane at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Though I agree with his assessment of Trump's character.

i don't - vultures are useful
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [65 favorites]


Apparently the Trump tweet is an old one, referring to the Charlie Hebdo attack, but of course it's still disgusting.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:08 PM on November 13, 2015


Social media is reporting from volunteers on the ground in Calais that there was a fire tonight, but it was contained and is now out. About 40+ tents destroyed but no casualties and no indication that it was related to the attacks in Paris. The camp is a very dangerous place, lots of people crowded together in unsanitary conditions with no fire regulation and lots of chemicals/asbestos. Which, in my opinion, is the larger crime than the fire itself.
posted by fight or flight at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


NBC is airing a repeat of their live sitcom Undateable tonight instead of a new episode.
posted by Small Dollar at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


CNN is saying 149 dead, total.

I'm reminded of the interview then-mayor Giuliani gave on 9/11, when they were uncertain if they were looking at 2000 or 10,000 fatalities at the WTC site alone: “The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear, ultimately.”
posted by blue suede stockings at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [20 favorites]


Why do they keep saying 7 sites? The theatre, the restaurant and the stadium... Where were the others?
posted by cacofonie at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2015


Why do they keep saying 7 sites? The theatre, the restaurant and the stadium... Where were the others?

There were multiple attacks around the stadium area.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:11 PM on November 13, 2015


.
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:11 PM on November 13, 2015


The Facebook notification thing during a crisis is good. I just got one regarding a friend I'd been worried about since he is an Eagles of Death Metal fan. I imagine some people who witnessed things might be in too much shock to do more than press a single button on Facebook. In some cases of a citywide crisis like this, phone/Internet connectivity might not even allow for more than that.
posted by lisa g at 5:12 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Someone on my Facebook feed is already blaming multiculturalism. I don't know what to say, I just shouldn't have looked.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why do they keep saying 7 sites? The theatre, the restaurant and the stadium... Where were the others?

There was more than one restaurant, for example. NYT has some of them, but I'm sure it is incomplete.

CNN reporting that there are gunmen still at large.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:14 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, my friends' band are (were?) supposed to play a concert in Paris in the 10th arrondissement just a few days from now. Count me as someone who appreciates the FB notification system for keeping tabs on loved ones we can't always track down via phone in horrible situations like this.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


it just seems like the worst people keep moving the world closer to an awful mess while the rest of us can't find a way to stop them
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [33 favorites]




So....I have plans to visit Paris, for,the first time ever, for New Year's. I've been brushing up on French, I've booked my flights and my Airbnb, I finally put in for the time off at work...so, this has been an interesting day.

But - listen. I was in New York on 9/11, and I also know how much we appreciated it when tourists came back in because it was a sign of "back to normal" and "life goes on". So: Paris, I am mourning with you, I am praying for you, and I promise I am still coming to visit you.

Avec tout de mon amour.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [119 favorites]


The Facebook notification thing is good. I just got one regarding a friend I'd been worried about since he is an Eagles of Death Metal fan. I imagine some people who witnessed things might be in too much shock to do more than press a single button on Facebook. In some cases of a citywide crisis like this, phone/Internet connectivity might not allow for more than that.

Yep. If I could get a stranger (or the Red Cross) to allow me access to a smart phone for 60 seconds, this is how my entire family/friend/coworker network (those who saw it and those who would spread word to those who didn't) would know I was OK.
posted by blue suede stockings at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Someone on my Facebook feed is already blaming multiculturalism. I don't know what to say, I just shouldn't have looked.

Respond to them and blame the presence of the Mets in the World Series.

"Aren't you playing Fucking Idiot Poker? Call and raise."
posted by delfin at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [49 favorites]


I wasn't gonna visit Paris again this year, but I've been looking at train fares. Hopefully early December.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Exceptional Hubris, I assume that telecom services in France aren't that different from most other first world nations?

If they're visiting from a foreign country, their options of contact are going to be limited anyway and if they're locals the network congestion is probably slowing things greatly as everyone in he Greater Paris area and beyond is trying to get in touch.

So... Very likely they can't Internet or call easily?
posted by qcubed at 5:18 PM on November 13, 2015


An alert reporter here screencapped a FB post from the head of the police union, blaming the attacks on cuts to border patrols, cuts to police forces, and people being too tolerant of those who don't respect "western values", without a single word of condolence.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. This situation is cheered on by those with a hunger for violence and power, on every side of the spectrum.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:18 PM on November 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


Empress, we were just a few months away from moving to NYC when 9/11 happened. We did it anyway; we didn't want the bastards to win. Never regretted it. Of course, do what you feel is safe, but I hope it's safe for you to go. Fuck these monsters.
posted by emjaybee at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Clarissa - I'll be there from December 26 to January 2. Meetup?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


it just seems like the worst people keep moving the world closer to an awful mess while the rest of us can't find a way to stop them

Well, it's a lot easier to get force multipliers when all you have to do is destroy...
posted by qcubed at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


According to twitter, France24 has now reported that the mayor of Calais confirms that the refugee camp is on fire. THere are also several tweets from other people claiming they are there and it is on fire.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This tweet perfectly captures why it's appalling to blame refugees for the Paris attacks

So many prayers, for everyone who is living in fear and is affected. (It's not verified if it's by ISIL yet, but I thought the link above is incredibly pertinent. I've already seen the damage that Islamophobia has done on my community and I really do not wish for anymore of it to continue..)
posted by yueliang at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh and emjay, sometime tonight I left my parents a voicemail that "for the record, you BETTER not try to talk me out of Paris because FUCK THAT." (Okay, maybe I didn't say "fuck"because it was my mom but whatever.)

I'm still goin'.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


[One deleted. Maybe let's hold off on copying horrible things said by irrelevant public figures into the thread, especially importing a gun control fight in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:22 PM on November 13, 2015 [16 favorites]


All of the Eagles of Death Metal band members are now reported safe but several crew members are still unaccounted for.
posted by tommasz at 5:22 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Definitely if I go then, EmpressCallipygos! But my mum will be there 4-6 Dec, so I'm more likely to go then (and I am unlikely to find a catsitter between the holidays).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:23 PM on November 13, 2015


Heartbreaking. No words. Praying for Paris.
posted by marimeko at 5:25 PM on November 13, 2015


Caroline Gregory is a journalist who has been at the Calais camp for months and she's one of the people tweeting video, but she thinks that it's probably an accidental fire. (There's a long, slow trainwreck of horrible camp conditions that she wants people to focus on, too. Scroll back in her timeline.)
posted by maudlin at 5:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where were the others?

Agence France Presse map
posted by infini at 5:26 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


My heart goes out to the people of Paris. This is just heartbreaking.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:26 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jon swaine tweet. This warmed my cynical heart

@jonswaine: One World Trade Center 🇫🇷
posted by sio42 at 5:28 PM on November 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Mrs A and I met as students in Paris. For that reason, and many others, it has a special place in my heart. I'm weeping now for the people of Paris. Love to you all, stay safe.
posted by arcticseal at 5:28 PM on November 13, 2015


My thoughts and prayers are with all who are affected by these events.

Waiting to hear back from a friend in the South of France.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:29 PM on November 13, 2015




Looks like things are winding down, so I'm gonna close out this particular tab and get on with my day. But before I go, I want to write a comment about understanding, and in particular about both sides of the debate as to how to respond to these attacks.

I think that we've got the side arguing to keep the borders open for refugees and to prove to the people that extremists recruit from that we are not their enemy by keeping our arms open and welcoming despite the devastating gut punch that France just took - and I largely agree with this sentiment. Keep the refugees coming and the borders open.

But I also understand the, well, not horrible and racist part of the flip side of things, and I think that some perspective in this direction will be very helpful in the days to come. There's unconfirmed reports that this was, in fact, an act of Islamic extremism, and that does seem like they most likely identity of these attackers. If that is true, then plenty of people will come out of the woodwork that simply hate Islam and Muslims or are various forms of Western supremacists, and they will say all sorts of horrible shit because they are horrible people and that's just kind of what horrible people do. Marine Le Pen comes to mind.

But there is also a sizable amount of people - I'd like to think the majority of them arguing for more security and tighter restrictions - that are acting out of a desire to keep their family, friends, and countrymen safe. The differences between freedom and goodwill and security and safety are not black and white, there is plenty of gray in between the two, and they simply believe that if attacks like this are a possibility with more open borders - and let's be honest and admit that more open borders kind of means a greater chance that bad people will get in by default - then we should lean more towards protecting innocents here than helping innocents elsewhere. These people, the reasonable ones, do not lean back and say "fuck those refugees, they're not us" - they feel sympathy for them just like any other reasonable person would, but they feel that the balance to be struck between security and aiding others should be tilted in the other direction. They are not indifferent to the suffering that the refugees have, are, and will be going through, they are not evil.

There is plenty to be argued about and disagreed about in the days, weeks, and months to come about where that balance should lie, but I want to do my best right now to try to give a bit of perspective in the other direction and maybe defuse a few arguments that will only alienate and prevent real solutions being sought instead of tossing ad hominem attacks and insults back and forth. Those of us who want to keep the borders open are not arguing for surrender to terrorism or are indifferent to the danger that terrorism presents, and those of us who want to restrict refugee entrances are (hopefully) not arguing that the suffering of refugees is unimportant. We just think differently about the balance between welcoming suffering outsiders with open arms and preventing the suffering of our own.
posted by Punkey at 5:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


*makes a moue, thoughtfully*
posted by infini at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2015


let's be honest and admit that more open borders kind of means a greater chance that bad people will get in by default

And exactly zero of them can be stopped from actually entering, save for people wanted by Interpol and the like.

As always, effective intelligence work is what stops terrorist attacks. That and avoiding participation in the cycle of violence.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:34 PM on November 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


CBC radio just interviewed a guy who was at the EoDM concert and managed to escape with his friend - he said the band was playing their song Chase The Devil when the gunshots started.
posted by mannequito at 5:35 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reuters Live Blog
posted by ob1quixote at 5:36 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


What can you say? Hug your people. Hope for the best for those affected by this craziness. Hope the craziness stops soon. Take care folks.
posted by Mooski at 5:36 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


+1 Frowner.

That's a whole other level of cold-blooded cynical manipulation.. Plan an attack, and profit from the hate backlash by further victimizing the population later on, grooming future terrorist recruits in the environment created by their own chaos.

This kind of attack, sadly, won't go away any time soon. Responding with hate feeds the radicals' fire. Chase the relevant goups down, yes, neutralize them, but as citizens the best thing we can do is make sure the actions that come from our emotions don't give extremists what they want. Don't give in to hate. Be angry, yes, but let the appropriate forces take care of those responsible, and don't look for scapegoats in your own back yard. There are many people in many communities hurt by this.

Thoughts are with those who have loved ones in Paris.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


As always, effective intelligence work is what stops terrorist attacks.

There is also huge cross-national variation in the number of terrorists attacks a country experiences. So what really stops terrorist attacks is whaterver it is that make states not experience terrorism.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


> let's be honest and admit that more open borders kind of means a greater chance that bad people will get in by default

Is it that simple? Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were born in Paris.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:38 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


CNN has the count up to at least 153.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:39 PM on November 13, 2015


I wish my smartTV were smart enough to mute the English translations when politicians speak French.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


I mean, just because a person isn't evil in their hearts doesn't mean their fear won't cloud their judgement and let them be cynically exploited by xenophobes and racists. A lot of people in my ostensibly very liberal family were all kinds of happy about the Patriot Act in the months after 9/11, for example. Evil is a thing you do, regardless of your motivations.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


Reporter asks Trudeau to answer in English and French. I guess he doesn't like listening to interpreters either. CBC translates anyway.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:42 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


let's be honest and admit that more open borders kind of means a greater chance that bad people will get in by default

Then again unfortunately there's that line about "if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" that just happens to be applicable here....anyone who is determined to cause havoc will get in, whereas peaceful people looking to improve their lives will not.
posted by nevercalm at 5:42 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values," [Norwegian Prime Minister Jens] Stoltenberg said. "Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity." Norway, he suggested, would not seek vengeance as America had done after the 9/11 attacks." We will answer hatred with love," he said. [Guardian 2012]

That, to me, was the most admirable response to any terrorist attack. Let us be kind. Let us be better people. It is hard, no question. I am sad and angry right now. But the best thing we can do is be better than that.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2015 [111 favorites]


Terrorized people often act irrationally. I am not happy with how America responded to 9/11 in a lot of ways but I don't think people are evil for being terrorized into irrationality by unexpectedly watching a mass murder occur on live TV. (Followed by months of fear of biological attacks.) The cynics who took advantage of that terror and the monsters who provoked it? Yeah, to me that's the evil.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


"let's be honest and admit"

This is not the thread for me to say exactly what I think of that perspective.
posted by traveler_ at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fear must not be allowed to fog up compassion. And I mean compassion at the most basic level, i.e., putting yourself in the position of others. Or as this guy put it: "Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..?"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


Bitteschoen: Don't focus only on the awfulness, not now please.

I'm reminded of the wise words of Mr. Rogers shortly after 9/11, to look for the helpers that you will see in times of trouble.

Those words still ring true today as ever.
posted by dr_dank at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2015 [34 favorites]


Wait, the Guardian is reporting Hollande said this (in translation):
To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.

Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.
Wow. I'm… not confident about where this is going.
posted by traveler_ at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


"anyone who is determined to cause havoc will get in, whereas peaceful people looking to improve their lives will"

I think most folks understand this but there are many examples of the opposite, for example the operational history of the SOA. In specificity, how they had a real hard time "getting in".

This is terrible.

VIVE LA FRANCE!
posted by clavdivs at 5:49 PM on November 13, 2015


We've seen this movie before, we know where it is going. France doesn't have nearly as much ability to project power as the United States but they have probably the third or fourth highest ability to do so in the world, so it's not an idle threat.
posted by Justinian at 5:50 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am not happy with how America responded to 9/11 in a lot of ways but I don't think people are evil for being terrorized into irrationality by unexpectedly watching a mass murder occur on live TV.
I think this is maybe a little like Jay Smooth's whole thing about telling people that they sound racist, rather than that they are racist. I'm not really interested in deciding who is and isn't evil. I think that people sometimes do evil things, and it doesn't matter whether they're evil people in their heart of hearts. I would like to minimize the amount of evil that gets done in response to this horrifically evil act. I certainly don't blame people for wanting to respond in ways that might ultimately not be humane or productive, but I desperately hope they decide not to do that.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:50 PM on November 13, 2015 [25 favorites]


The cynics who took advantage of that terror and the monsters who provoked it? Yeah, to me that's the evil.

Evil cannot function without people not only stepping aside to let it happen, but also cheering it on. I understand the motivating power of fear, in more ways than I'm prepared to discuss here, believe me. But I'm loathe to draw clinical lines where Evil ends when monstrous acts are allowed, and encouraged, to happen in fear's name. We have to take some responsibility in how we choose to treat our fellow human beings, and how we choose to let them be treated.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:51 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Where is Peter Mansbridge?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:52 PM on November 13, 2015


I am glad that at least CBC seems to be more reliable in terms of coverage and updates; CNN has veered into parody during this.

This is incredibly awful and sad.
posted by Kitteh at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2015


Ugh. I knew that wasn't the best wording for that. Aya Hirano, I was the one who first linked to that post on Twitter - believe me, I'm 100% with that guy. This is precisely why we need to keep the refugees coming in.

As for the comments about that "let's be honest and admit that more open borders kind of means a greater chance that bad people will get in by default" line, let me explain more in depth. It's all well and good to have a great set of security cameras and to know what your neighbors are doing, but if you leave your front door wide open, there's a better chance that someone you don't want to visit will walk right in. Having open borders is less secure than having restricted border entry because it's easier to come in, it's that simple. Yes, there are many ways to gain entry illegally, but they're all more difficult and risky than just walking through the front door. Closing the borders makes attackers resort to those more risky methods that make it more likely for them to get caught.
posted by Punkey at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


If the past pattern is any indicator the attackers are unlikely to be refugees. Recent attacks in France have been carried out by longer term French residents who were radicalized. The refugees are probably among the strongest allies in fighting these radicals because they have already been brutalized by these assholes.
posted by humanfont at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [42 favorites]


That's a whole other level of cold-blooded cynical manipulation.. Plan an attack, and profit from the hate backlash by further victimizing the population later on, grooming future terrorist recruits in the environment created by their own chaos.

I always think that one of the purposes of this type of attack is to show - or to galvanize - the moral bankruptcy of the regime and the society. To show that when it is provoked it will lash out with cruel, disproportionate, insane violence; to show that it is not a legitimate or safe place for marginalized groups by provoking violence on the bodies of the marginalized. If we lived in a better world, or even in Norway, people would respond by refusing to lash out, by acting with magnanimity and greatness. But all that ever happens is that we see that both the terrorists and the regime are violent and morally bankrupt.

It's an epistemological crime, it's intended to produce despair. Mass killings like this are the non-stae mirror of the prison camp, because they're intended to break down people's ordinary humanity.
posted by Frowner at 5:55 PM on November 13, 2015 [91 favorites]


I can't be the only one thinking "Please, France, don't do what we did. Learn from our knee jerk bullshit."
posted by Mooski at 5:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [48 favorites]


>CNN has veered into parody during this.

CNN has ceased to be a reliable news organization 15 years ago. I never go to them for news.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [25 favorites]


Sorry, "OAS." Not SOA.
posted by clavdivs at 6:00 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's Peter Mansbridge. Apparently he only comes out for Actual The National and not breaking news.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:00 PM on November 13, 2015


He's on now, which means it's time to shut off the CBC for me.
posted by nubs at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's all well and good to have a great set of security cameras and to know what your neighbors are doing, but if you leave your front door wide open, there's a better chance that someone you don't want to visit will walk right in. Having open borders is less secure than having restricted border entry because it's easier to come in, it's that simple. Yes, there are many ways to gain entry illegally, but they're all more difficult and risky than just walking through the front door. Closing the borders makes attackers resort to those more risky methods that make it more likely for them to get caught.

The thing is, though, is we only need to look at how this is practiced to see the result: racial profiling, security theatre, money burned by the ton, increased surveillance and harassment of innocent people, and very, very little actual increase in safety. And that's before we touch on terror that develops within the borders. It's not proven a very effective deterrent against terror, unless you take it to such an extreme that you have an effectively totalitarian state. No foreign-born suicide bombers in North Korea, after all. I think we can devote our resources more effectively elsewhere.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [32 favorites]


I didn't say I prefer it.
posted by Punkey at 6:04 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is where CBC radio is a better choice than CBC tv.
posted by maudlin at 6:04 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Even if you don't care about liberty, it's still WAY more cost-effective to change foreign policy than to become a police state.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Please, France, don't do what we did. Learn from our knee jerk bullshit."
Well, I'd like to think France doesn't have a 'grudge enemy' (like Saddam Hussein for us) who they want an excuse to go all batshit insane on.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


[A few comments deleted, let's hold off on speculating who the attackers were for the time being? We have no idea yet, and it seems a waste to get into a fight over guesses at this point.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:06 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


stay safe, wait for the situation to stabilize and then remember that such attacks are designed to crash the economy. Show your protest at the cash registers.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Courage, Paris, courage.
posted by invokeuse at 6:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


This tweet perfectly captures why it's appalling to blame refugees for the Paris attacks

Let's call a spade a spade though, most of those who will have that kind of reaction, from the Front National to their allies and supporters in Europe, will not just be generically blaming "refugees", they will be blaming Muslims and be suspicious of Muslims and conflating refugees=Muslims=potential new terrorists adding to the potential terrorists among the millions of Muslims already born and bred in Europe until total Islamization of the West etc. etc. etc. and use all that once again to rally for votes with grand promises of caring about the future of Europe and with wild headline-grabbing suggestions to do things that cannot be legally done anyway nevermind the human rights aspect of it and if they end up indirectly inciting some hatred and arson attacks in the process of grabbing votes so be it.

There would be somewhere else a much more reasoned debate to be had, about how to deal with radicalized domestic Islamic groups of the kind that breed this kind of terrorism, and what's the role of some Islamic preachers in that radicalization, and is there any room within Islam for actively counteracting all that and how, and lots of related questions and related concerns of a reasonable valid nature that too often get dismissed, but it would not be coming from those same vote-grabbing headquarters, and would not be easily conflated with the refugee question, because it is a separate question, and one that does need a reasoned approach of its own. In a parallel universe, maybe, by now, but one can hope.
posted by bitteschoen at 6:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh jesus.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I can't be the only one thinking "Please, France, don't do what we did. Learn from our knee jerk bullshit."

I appreciate this honest comment. But I believe they have as my mention of the OAS. France went through hell then and learned that even extreme elements with-in it's military cannot fell the state. They granted independence to a country and endured. France has a long tradition of enduring. But I share your hope, some of those Gendarmes look angry and the military being called into Paris is not unheard of.
posted by clavdivs at 6:15 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:15 PM on November 13, 2015


Less reported alongside the border closings is the "suspension" of campaigning for the December regional elections in France. This is a big deal, because even though currently there are 27 regions, the regions are scheduled to be amalgamated into 18 larger regions early next year, and the elections were to reflect that.

Regions are somewhat analogous to councils in the UK, not legally able to make laws but in charge of budgeting for services. Politically, regional elections are during off-years, and are a way to take the temperature of the electorate. Whatever effect was intended on the French people, the attacks have already inflicted major damage on France's internal politics and day-to-day administration beyond security and emergency services.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


and use all that once again to rally for votes with grand promises of caring about the future of Europe and with wild headline-grabbing suggestions to do things that cannot be legally done anyway

I think that tweet is most effective in reaching out to otherwise compassionate people in a state of panic right now. FN and their ilk are not likely to be swayed, but people in fear can be grounded, I think.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The thing is, though, is we only need to look at how this is practiced to see the result: racial profiling, security theatre, money burned by the ton, increased surveillance and harassment of innocent people, and very, very little actual increase in safety. And that's before we touch on terror that develops within the borders. It's not proven a very effective deterrent against terror, unless you take it to such an extreme that you have an effectively totalitarian state. No foreign-born suicide bombers in North Korea, after all. I think we can devote our resources more effectively elsewhere.

The border closing under discussion is the temporary one to keep the suspects from escaping. Not immigration policy. That discussion comes later. The situation is currently like the Boston manhunt in the immediate aftermath of the marathon bombings.
posted by srboisvert at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
posted by Sphinx at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The border closing under discussion is the temporary one to keep the suspects from escaping. Not immigration policy. That discussion comes later. The situation is currently like the Boston manhunt in the immediate aftermath of the marathon bombings.

I know the current closing is temporary; I was under the impression we were talking about closing borders as a matter of ongoing policy, as per the talk about weighing security against liberty and such, reducing domestic terror and the like.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:19 PM on November 13, 2015


"Please, France, don't do what we did. Learn from our knee jerk bullshit."

I thought France already had more experience than the US does with terrorism? Didn't their colonies' wars for independence include a lot of terrorist attacks in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? I'd think that was recent enough for the people in power today to remember what it was like.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:21 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Anyone wondering what the activation of the Facebook Safety Check feature looks like from the user end can check this out. You can apparently mark other friends in an affected area as safe as well.
posted by blue suede stockings at 6:22 PM on November 13, 2015


Reddit's livethread has wrapped up.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:24 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


France has been arouund this block before, agreed, they won't do crazy things, and they lack the manpower to flat out invade anywhere.
posted by vrakatar at 6:24 PM on November 13, 2015


[A few deleted, please let's not pick super obvious fights over statements that appear to downplay this?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:27 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


" we were talking about closing borders as a matter of ongoing policy, as per the talk about weighing security against liberty and such, reducing domestic terror and the like"

Ok, do you feel it might effect the short stay visa program or are you thinking a physical border closing.
posted by clavdivs at 6:28 PM on November 13, 2015


Ok, do you feel it might effect the short stay visa program or are you thinking a physical border closing.

I'm not entirely sure I understand your question, but whether we're talking about a material wall or a bureacratic one, my thoughts on border restrictions for the sake of security are pretty much here.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:31 PM on November 13, 2015


vrakatar: "France has been arouund this block before, agreed, they won't do crazy things, and they lack the manpower to flat out invade anywhere."

Oh, don't worry, they'll do crazy things if this event gets FN a majority in the next elections.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by grisha at 6:33 PM on November 13, 2015


Reddit's livethread has wrapped up.

And a thought from that thread:

French TVs are looping their videos, interviews, and comments. Expect no more news tonight.
Still no information or claim on who did the attacks, and why. Only suppositions

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did anyone post a link to Obama's statement yet?

I like how he's not bugging Hollande tonight because the latter is probably busy.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2015


Can I just interject, with all this talk of "pitiless war", that what Hollande actually said was:

"Quand des terroristes sont prêts à commettre de telles atrocités, ils doivent savoir qu'il y a en face une France déterminée. [...] Nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable." [source]

Combat = fight, struggle. He could just as well (and most likely is) talking about renewed interior measures to combat (!) radicalisation within France. He isn't declaring war on anyone.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 6:35 PM on November 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


The guardian is reporting that four attackers in the Stadium blew themselves up with suicide belts after firing on the crowd
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:35 PM on November 13, 2015


politico.eu live blog

Has an update from Le Parisien that seems to confirm the figure of 140 dead.
posted by roolya_boolya at 6:35 PM on November 13, 2015


I was driving on a beautiful, sunny day when the radio cut to the news of this. So sad and terrible.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:39 PM on November 13, 2015


Nous allons mener le combat

"We're going to take up the fight" is about right.
posted by Wolof at 6:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Still no information or claim on who did the attacks, and why. Only suppositions

I thought that one of the terrorists in the theater claimed to be with ISIS and that these attacks were "for Syria"? Has that been refuted? I don't know enough about British news outlets to know which are reliable sources.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


French TVs are looping their videos, interviews, and comments. Expect no more news tonight.
Still no information or claim on who did the attacks, and why. Only suppositions


According to Fox News (hey, I was in the car...) the State of Emergency also means the state can control all media. What info gets out right now is going to be very tightly controlled for obvious reasons.
posted by splen at 6:44 PM on November 13, 2015


I think that's unconfirmed, Jacqueline. Someone who was in the club reported that one of the attackers said something about Syria, but it was by all accounts a noisy and chaotic scene, and it's possible that she misheard.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:46 PM on November 13, 2015


Has that been refuted?

It hasn't been confirmed.
posted by Miko at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think the fact that I've specifically taught myself how to say "eat shit, you fucking morons" in French to talk back to people means that I should probably stay well clear of Twitter for a while.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


According to Fox News (hey, I was in the car...) the State of Emergency also means the state can control all media.

I'm not sure about a lot of things right now, but I'm pretty sure Fox doesn't have a handle on the nuances of what a state of emergency in France may or may not mean.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2015 [37 favorites]


Islamophobes everywhere are celebrating tonight.

Is it wrong that one of my first thoughts was "Please let it be right-wing white separatists, or a Men's Rights Activism gone crazy wrong, or aliens/ zombies/ creatures from the center of the earth... just don't let it be Islamic extremists."? The last thing the world needs is more fuel for that particular fire.

This is horrifying and scarring and an act of cowardice by people who hope to control the action of nations through fear.

At this point it isn't clear who is behind it, but I think I can say with complete certainty that the attackers are fucking assholes, and in a better world, they would get no media coverage at all. The victims absolutely, the coming together of disparate people to help in the assistance and reconstruction, undoubtedly. The attackers?... nothing but crickets. A universal stance of "We are not terrorized, we are not impressed, and you deserve nothing but utter contempt and silence so that you and your chicken-shit agenda wither on the vine."

But we don't live in that world, so instead, I will just pass my best wishes to Parisians in general, and those affected in particular. You have my deepest sympathy and hope that you will demonstrate your amazing French spirit and rise and recover from this quickly.

And also to those of Islam who will bear be brunt of accusations, even if it does turn out to be alien mole people. It is unjust that you are lumped in with these zealot fuckers. I wish you strength an patience in this horrible time.

Because what the actual fuck?!
posted by quin at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


This is horrific. What can I do from here, other than wring my hands and worry about friends? I want so desperately to help.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2015


Does anyone know why France has been the target of at least 3 recent terrorist gun attacks (I'm thinking Charlie Hebdo, the incident on the train, and this), but other European countries have been spared? Do extremists have it in for France more than its neighbors?
posted by andrewpcone at 6:51 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ok Aya, I read your comment as I was not sure what you meant. In you linked comment you state:
"It's not proven a very effective deterrent against terror, unless you take it to such an extreme that you have an effectively totalitarian state."

True, but that is a blanket statement. Again, France closed boarders many times to prevent OAS members from returning and escaping. France did not lose it liberty then.

"No foreign-born suicide bombers in North Korea"

You simply don't know this neither do I. Besides, in NK, these types of retaliation take the form of political repression.
posted by clavdivs at 6:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope this does not sound flip because I don't mean it that way. But as I keep refreshing the Guardian's liveblog page, the video still they have frozen at the top looks so much like a Renaissance tragedy painting to me. It is there, the misery of the naked and injured man, the people coming to aid, the soldiers/police turning to do their work. There is a sameness to the world's tragedies.
posted by Miko at 6:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


Stade Français were playing the Tigers here in Leicester (UK) on Friday night (opening match of the European Rugby Champions Cup). My fellow Tigers supporters are calling for Leicester people to volunteer to put up French fans who can't get home with the borders closed.

Off to tidy downstairs and the spare room...
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 6:54 PM on November 13, 2015 [37 favorites]


Does anyone know why France has been the target of at least 3 recent terrorist gun attacks

Paris is the #1 city in the world for tourism, so if you're going to strike at a European city then Paris is probably your best bet for worldwide psychological impact.

So many people have either been there themselves or been subjected to friends' and family's vacation photos of the city that an attack on Paris feels more personal than an attack on most other cities.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


why France has been the target of at least 3 recent terrorist gun attacks

proximity, NATO affiliation, and libertine, for lack of a better.
posted by vrakatar at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2015




Miko--I don't thinkit is at all flip. There is a fatiguing and dulling similarity to much of the worlds violence--now and in the past
posted by rmhsinc at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


looks so much like a Renaissance tragedy painting to me

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along...

--Auden

Courage, friends.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [63 favorites]


" There is a sameness to the world's tragedies."

I agree, then I think David painting that and want to scream.
posted by clavdivs at 6:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd enjoy a world where madmen with guns and bombs were not automatically ascribed to religious terrorists and in the response, world leaders all suggest we are praying for your country.

I don't think thats gonna help.
posted by sfts2 at 6:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure about a lot of things right now, but I'm pretty sure Fox doesn't have a handle on the nuances of what a state of emergency in France may or may not mean.

Probably not, and neither do I, but Wikipedia says: The 1955 law on states of emergency, which was passed during the war in Algeria, still in force today, allows censorship by allowing the Ministry of Interior and the prefects to take "all measures to ensure control of the press and radio. "
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:59 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


proximity, NATO affiliation, and libertine, for lack of a better.

France also has a very large radicalized population and something like 1000 French citizens went to join the fight with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. For comparison, the United States has five times the population and the number of American citizens who fought for ISIS is around one tenth as many.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's way too early to speculate about this attack, but I don't think the perpetrators in the other two attacks chose to target France for any reason other than that they lived in France. It's not like these were terrorists living in Terroristville who could have chosen any country in the world and chose France.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:02 PM on November 13, 2015 [23 favorites]


Yeah, that seems about right. The question is: why do people living in France commit domestic terrorism? not, why do terrorist target france?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:04 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's simply that the attackers already lived in France, andrewpcone.  

Algeria was ruled by France for a while. Algerians who worked for the French occupation fled to France when the French departed. France placed them all together with no jobs in empty northern suburbs of Paris. Now their kids are French, but many hate France for making their lives suck.

At the same time Islamists have been beating the "kill thy neighbor" drum for decades. I donno if French Algerians are particularly Islamic overall, probably not so much, but they identify enough with Islam that now Jews are fleeing France. And some even went to fight for ISIS in Syria.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do extremists have it in for France more than its neighbors?

France has a long history of meddling in the muslim world, combined with a tendency to marginalize its muslim population.

The Battle of Algiers (1966) is required viewing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:05 PM on November 13, 2015 [23 favorites]


I wonder how much the economic situation of immigrant/minority youths in the French suburbs factors into it? About a decade ago, roughly around this time of year, there were riots due to rampant unemployment, frustration, and racism.

Some of them were Muslims; the majority were from North Africa, if I recall correctly.
posted by qcubed at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, there is a lesson here for nations like Germany that accept many refugees : Do not place them together in ghettos! Instead, you must spread them out around the country, so that they integrate properly and do not face the same discrimination.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


What can I do from here, other than wring my hands and worry about friends? I want so desperately to help.

Looking at my brother's Facebook feed, he seems to have decided to show his solidarity with Parisians by consuming a lot of French wine tonight.

I don't say this to make light of the situation -- spending money on French products is indeed one way that those of us on the other side of the world can be supportive, given that the tourism sector of their economy will probably be hit hard by this.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


France's policies and philosophy regarding religious expression are complicated and there are very strong opinions. It is a completely different approach than other countries.
However, I cannot have a nuanced discussion about France's political climate as I really have no clue.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:09 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is probably getting pretty far off-topic, jeffburdges, but requiring refugees to spread out was a cornerstone of American refugee policy for a long time, and it turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Refugees actually do not assimilate better when they are split up and sent to places where there is no preexisting ethnic community or critical mass of people to form ethnic institutions. Those things seem actually to help people assimilate, as counter-intuitive as that may seem.

Not discriminating against immigrants and refugees is definitely good policy, though, as is avoiding creating ghettos.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:13 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


This is not about evil people. It is about organized political forces that project nation-state scale terrorism. Every powerful nation has been attacked. We need to co-operatively deal with global terrorist organizations.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ugh, my gods, I am sorry.

.
posted by Ashen at 7:27 PM on November 13, 2015


[A few comments deleted. People are on edge, and posting links to other terrorist attacks without context is easily misinterpretable, so maybe hold off or make it clearer what your point is, and again since things are pretty fresh please don't post stuff that comes across as minimizing today's events. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:31 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


.
posted by What'sAPedantWalter? at 7:36 PM on November 13, 2015


Given that France has started doing air strikes against Daech/ISIS (2015-09-27), putting rubble where Daech is could soothe the national ego. I get the impression it has broad support: the right-wing minority has been making noise on this for some time (some Catholics have been complaining ever since Assad's regime was threatened, in fact), and the majority isn't strongly opposed.

It seems to me gwint was making the case that Daech has been complicit in many terror attacks internationally. However, the terrorists directly involved in the night's events were likely long-time French citizens, as were the Charlie Hebdo terrorists.
posted by Tobu at 7:38 PM on November 13, 2015


It is sad to read comments that partially place the blame on France. True, many Muslims came from North Africa and settled in France. But when those Arab nations broke from France, there was no requirement for Arabs to move to France. Those terrorists seem to have left France for training in Syria and Iraq--all reports remark on their professionalism--and returned to France. if they disliked life in France they did not have to return. Europe has easy borders to cross. That may soon change.

Now if you want to blame France, blame both France and Britain for the secret divvying up of Arab lands in WWI, which created a number of national states that are now hot spots in the mess that is the Middle East.What we seem to have with ISIS is the attempt to get back to the glory days of the caliphate, a time prior to national states in the M.E. But waging war against non-Muslims beyond the M.E. seems to be part of the agenda.
posted by Postroad at 7:41 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


via George Takei: I'm writing this backstage at Allegiance, my heart heavy with the news from Paris, aching for the victims and their families and friends.

There no doubt will be those who look upon immigrants and refugees as the enemy as a result of these attacks, because they look like those who perpetrated these attacks, just as peaceful Japanese Americans were viewed as the enemy after Pearl Harbor. But we must resist the urge to categorize and dehumanize, for it is that very impulse that fueled the insanity and violence perpetrated this evening.

Tonight, hold your loved ones, and pray or wish for peace, not only from guns and bombs, but from hatred and fear. If it is our freedom and joy they seek to destroy, give them not that victory. Against the forces of darkness and terror, love and compassion shall always prevail. ‪#‎JeSuisParis‬


posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:50 PM on November 13, 2015 [70 favorites]


I wish the media would just replace the word "terrorist" with "fucking asshole." It's far more descriptive and places the rage where it belongs.

"153 dead in fucking asshole attack. Police have shot dead three of the fucking assholes. Authorities are trying to determine if these fucking assholes have ties to other fucking assholes and they warn of other fucking assholes who might attempt copycat fucking asshole attacks."

Completely negates any ideological or political point these fucking assholes are trying to make because hey, they're fucking assholes. Ain't no virgins waiting in heaven for no fucking assholes.

I wish I possessed the kind of inner peace this kind of event demands in response but I'm just tapped out after decades of this shit and there's just way too many fucking assholes in this miserable world.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [198 favorites]


.
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:02 PM on November 13, 2015


And now people have started blaming Edward Snowden. I want to break my fucking tv.
posted by RedShrek at 8:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [19 favorites]


France has been arouund this block before, agreed, they won't do crazy things

Any country or people if stressed enough can do crazy things. The last time France got really upset, its police officers basically staged pogroms and massacred Algerians in the streets.
posted by meehawl at 8:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


If I had a French flag and a place to fly it, I'd be flying it now. #JeSuisParis indeed.
posted by Death and Gravity at 8:11 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


There was a really good, lengthy story in a recent New Yorker about several young French Muslim men in the banlieues of Paris, and the complexity and range of their emotional relationship to France, to Islam, and to their friends/neighbors who have become radicalized jihadists. I don't want to leap to assumptions about who exactly is responsible for this horror, but the article does, I think, give one a deeper understanding of the range of opinions and beliefs among those who are already being blamed by many.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:18 PM on November 13, 2015 [14 favorites]


Horrifying and awful...my heart breaks for the people killed and their loved ones.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:22 PM on November 13, 2015


Does anyone know why France has been the target of at least 3 recent terrorist gun attacks (I'm thinking Charlie Hebdo, the incident on the train, and this), but other European countries have been spared? Do extremists have it in for France more than its neighbors?

--

Yeah, that seems about right. The question is: why do people living in France commit domestic terrorism? not, why do terrorist target france?


Some thoughts...

Demographics - France has seen a very large influx of Muslim immigrants primarily from Algeria and Morocco - France is virtually tied with Germany for having the largest number of Muslims in Europe (4.7 mil).

While Muslims now make up 8% of their population, they make up an estimated 70% of their prison population, which provides a fertile recruiting ground for extremism. Muslim immigrants tend to perform very poorly economically, and were the primary actors behind the 2005 riots which were severe enough to cause the government to declare a state of national emergency for 3 weeks.

There is a similar demographics story in Melbourne, where by far the most economically disadvantaged group are refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, being the most dependent on welfare and having the lowest incomes. A similar ratio in prisons - Muslims comprise 3% of the population, but 8-9% of the people in prison. All these factors are inter-related, of course - causality is often both ways. We just haven't got to a critical point with the numbers yet, which is a key and unpleasant reason why Australia has tight controls on the number of immigrants it accepts. There's a lot of talk about "accepting" immigrants but not enough on how we integrate them properly into our social and economic systems - and whether integration is even possible. At least part of the fault is our own (systemic discrimination against foreigners) but it seems to have varying outcomes - for example, the success of Chinese immigrants despite similar discrimination - so it's certainly a complex issue.
posted by xdvesper at 8:22 PM on November 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Updated at 5:07 a.m., central European time.

Des tireurs ont ouvert le feu dans plusieurs lieux de la capitale et aux alentours. Il y a eu sept attaques au total. 120 personnes au moins seraient mortes, 200 autres ont été blessées, dont 80 gravement. Huit assaillants ont été tués, dont sept en se faisant exploser.

Roughly: The gunmen opened fire in several locations around the capital and surrounding areas. There were a total of seven attacks. At least 120 people have been killed, and another 200 wounded, 80 of them seriously. Eight of the attackers were killed; seven of them blew themselves up.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:25 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Slarty, maybe take away their self-regard *and* clean it up for the kiddies by calling them "feckless pawns"?

(I got nothing.)

.
posted by notsnot at 8:45 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure about a lot of things right now, but I'm pretty sure Fox doesn't have a handle on the nuances of what a state of emergency in France may or may not mean.

Normally, you'd be right, but not here. The President of the Republic may declare a state of emergency and gather much power to themselves, by simply declaring such to the to Council of Ministers, but the Parliament can revoke it after 12 days.

During that time, he can regulate or forbid travel or gathering in any area of France, he my close any building or business, he may search any house at any time without judicial oversight, and he has the absolute power of censorship. It also allows the military the power to act in place of civil authorities.

This is all well established in the 1958 Constitution. The law also summons Parliament to meet. The one power that is restricted from the President is that they may not dissolve the National Assembly (thus forcing elections) while the state of emergency exists.

So, yeah. François Hollande is basically now the dictator of France and will remain so as long as the Parliament agrees after 12 days and the Constitutional Council agrees after 60 days (though they can be asked to rule on that after 30 days, they get the power to rule without referral on it after 60 days.)

The French are very leery of heistating in a crisis after WWI and WWII, and the emergency powers that the President holds arguably saved the Republic in 1961 when Charles de Gaulle invoked it during the 1961 putsch attempt. He appeared on TV in his 1944 General of the Army uniform and called on the people of France to support him.
posted by eriko at 8:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


Also, regarding the state of emergency, according to Libération:

Il faut une loi pour prolonger l’état d’urgence au-delà de douze jours.

"To extend the state of emergency for more than twelve days, legislation has to enacted." So, this can't be an executive order for longer than that - it has to go to the national assembly before it can be extended.

But here's the thing: closing down concert halls and other places of public assembly is within the purview of a state of emergency in France. That's what the assholes with the guns and explosives just tried to do. Maybe the right response is to not do that.

Although it does appear the media is freely reporting at this point, because, well, internet?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:50 PM on November 13, 2015


SecretAgentSockPuppet, Bustle has a few suggestions for trying to help out a bit.
posted by Beti at 8:53 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cities around the world displaying the French flag's colors.
posted by emjaybee at 8:56 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


eriko: We appear to have crossed comments. Would tend to agree. But the censorship provision seems to be a little bit behind the technology of today, I'd guess.

And some of the pictures Libération recently posted [warning, graphic], oy. The one of the aftermath in front of a restaurant. People out for a meal in a lovely city. Fuck.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it is important to celebrate victories such as in the north of Iraq in the Kurdish area where Kurds and Yazidis threw off daesh today, and the Zazidi liberators, horror struck by what was perpetrated on their women and girls, told them they may hold their heads high, now. The violent rearranging of the Middle East is a horror every day with millions running away. This has to be the year of the refugee. It is also important that our individual foreign policies are voiced by our legitimately elected government. You would hope candidates for POTUS would have the sense to back off on throwing gasoline on the situation. It is also important for the press to know that people like Eric Prince from Blackwater/Xe/ Academe a professional mercenary now working for China, in no way represents the opinion of the US or its people when he goes looking for work by offering lousy advice.

Paris is such a light, a standard, an example of the world largely at peace. France does not allow the Hijab and insists on being France. Best to them on this ghastly Friday night. The stupid brats who did this played for keeps, with the help of assholes who facilitated. I doubt we will know who. But the powers that be, have naked pictures of starlets, and know what you buy at the store. I guess these guys have learned to keep quiet while ordering their weapons and bomb parts.

We are not different from other simpler life forms on this world. We have disrupted habitat again and again and despair when people just don't vanish quietly so we can make our fortunes. We disrupt and then are horrified when that comes home to us. I despair for this world and for us, it takes so much positive activity to undo what has happened. The lives lost today, the refugees, the millions, only methodical calm will help resettle everything. There is not the bigger or more gun, bigger or more bomb, rational people on all sides have to find a way. There are too many wounds to bind.
posted by Oyéah at 8:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


"Refugees actually do not assimilate better when they are split up and sent to places where there is no preexisting ethnic community or critical mass of people to form ethnic institutions. Those things seem actually to help people assimilate, as counter-intuitive as that may seem."

Yes and while a migratory example rather then refugee, there is a historical precident with The Bretons in Paris.
posted by clavdivs at 9:18 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:32 PM on November 13, 2015


I'm reminded of the wise words of Mr. Rogers shortly after 9/11, to look for the helpers that you will see in times of trouble.

This. It's always easier to destroy and kill than save and help. But look to the helpers in these times. Far, far more people are rushing in to help.

I can't stomach the idea of blaming France for any of this. I instead think on something I read tonight from Reddit:
'Opinion: The goal of these attacks is to make the West hate muslims indiscriminately. No matter how upset we are, we must resist this. We must remember that IS is doing this to other muslims in Syria every day, and welcome them as refugees and allies.' –reddit user 'Stereo'
I'm working insane hours these days on a team producing a miniseries about hate-crimes and extremism in the U.S. We interviewed Frazier Glenn Miller, who was sentenced to death this week for a triple-murder in Overland Park, Kansas last year. He drove out to the suburbs of Kansas City because he'd been diagnosed with emphysema and, as a life-long Klan-leader and white-supremacist, he couldn't deal with the idea of dying without killing Jews before he did so.

So he drove down from Missouri to a Jewish Community Center, and started shooting people at random. Then he drove to a nearby Jewish Retirement Village and started shooting some more. Then he went to a school parking lot and waited a very short while for the cops to apprehend him. He repeatedly shouted "Sieg Heil!" when they arrived, and once in the back of the squad car, said, "My name is Frazier Glenn Miller. I'm an anti-semite. How many'd I get?"

The answer was that he'd killed three people: a fourteen-year-old boy at a singing audition, his grandfather, and a women coming from visiting her mother at the home. None of his victims, in the end, were Jewish.

It should come as no surprise to know that he immediately went to leaps and bounds to still justify what he did. They were "collaborators." He was still righteous. He has zero regrets, and in fact seems to have more pride in this act than in anything else in his life.

I go on this tangent just to say that I've been spending my days and nights in the mindset of hateful killers for a while now (and Miller is just the most prominent example) and while I can't say I understand them, what I see is that rage wants an ideology, and once it's got it, nothing will convince that rage that the outcome isn't ordained by God.

And I worry about this in myself sometimes. I get frothy with rage about Conservatives in America and can "other" them into an ignorant, evil, racist mass pretty easily, in my head. So I'm glad that I got to meet and hang out with the family of that boy and his grandfather recently, who are so politically different from me, and learn how loving, warm, resilient they are, that they've taken this tragedy and used it to create charities all about tolerance and improving ones own mental state. Now when the GOP candidates go on opportunistic with-hunts I can remember that the people on the ground are, or at least can be, so much better than that. Meeting the "others," eating with them, talking with them, knowing them... that's the key.

I'm rambling because I can't really process this yet. I think the ghettoization of Muslims in France couldn't have helped this, but France isn't to blame here. Rage found Ideology and that's a match made in Hell. And it's happening to people of all religious and non-religious stripes every day.

.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:32 PM on November 13, 2015 [153 favorites]


The fact that they targeted a stadium is pretty scary to me as someone who regularly attends NFL games. The security screening at games is very thorough but while you wait for the security you are packed together like sardines in line with hundreds of other people. It's a fall/winter sport so very bulky clothing that can conceal weapons is commonly worn. Every time I've gone to a game I've had a moment during that wait where I looked around and was like, "Wow, we are so vulnerable right now."
posted by Drinky Die at 9:33 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Navelgazer, I think the more we refrain from naming fucking assholes the better. Besides chaos and destruction, isn't celebrity what they want?
posted by Beti at 9:40 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Paris et France, je vous aime.

.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beti: that's actually been a guiding principle for us with this episode, but this fucking asshole's celebrity really won't be affected by a mention deep in a thread about Paris' tragedy on a site this left-leaning, trust me. Also, he has no internet access, so he won't find it on a google search, at least.

(Also, this guy was hardly unknown to those interested in these topics before any of this. He raised a paramilitary force of literally thousands twenty years ago before the SPLC shut them down.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:52 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I call people who cut me off in traffic "fucking assholes". Calling mass-murdering extremists by that same name seems less than adequate.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 9:57 PM on November 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


Cover of Le Parisien: Cette fois, c'est la guerre

This time, it's war.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:00 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, I don't think it's that HE will read this or care, it's that other people who might think about doing the same are encouraged when they see attention and fame being given to him.

Klaxon, maybe ease up on the road rage so when stuff like this happens you haven't used up all your good curses?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:01 PM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]




About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;


I've studied that in school but never been really moved by it before. Thank you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:12 PM on November 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Getting into a back-and-forth over what's the right curse words to use here is unnecessary.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:14 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Guillermo del Toro, starting from here.
A memory in 8 tweets: During the captivity of my father- a time of enormous pain- two policemen came to see us. They had two proposals.
The first was: For 5K, they would give us a room with the kidnappers, tied to a chair. They would provide a lead pipe & 15 minutes alone.
The second one: For 10K they would make sure that- when the raid happened- all kidnappers would get killed and we’d get Polaroids.
We said no. Absolutely no to both. We felt hatred and pain but could not be a part of the cycle of violence.
72 days after his capture, my father was liberated.
Months passed and several families that had gone through similar ordeals joined in a restaurant to have dinner and exchange support.
During dinner: a small commotion. Some people rushed to the end of the long, long table. “What is it, I asked?” “Some photos” someone said.
I stayed on my side of the table. Never looked. Perhaps someone had paid? I didn’t want to know.
In times like this- when violence breeds violence, I think of that day and pray for wisdom and strength.
I stay in vigil until hearing from everyone I know in Paris.

posted by CrystalDave at 10:17 PM on November 13, 2015 [105 favorites]


"Tonight’s attacks show the same uncanny sense of symbolism as the January massacres. They targeted neighborhoods where people are more inclined to be tolerant, liberal and progressive. And they targeted the greatest monument to France’s multi-ethnic, pluralistic success: the hallowed ground of the Stade de France."

via Fusion.net

Remember: the enemy of the extremist is the moderate.
posted by Freen at 10:19 PM on November 13, 2015 [27 favorites]


It's beyond apprehension. The only word i have for it is the one on every cover, in everyone's mouth, horror.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:26 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did you know 44 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Lebanon yesterday?

This shit is sadly our new normal for more years than you can count unless you have been keeping very close track.
posted by bukvich at 11:08 PM on November 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


This horror on the day a flawed moral giant, the great André Glucksmann, was being buried at Pere Lachaise. Glucksmann was a lucid champion of the oppressed and a brilliant debunker of totalitarianisms of every sort.
posted by abakua at 11:16 PM on November 13, 2015


Malcolm Turnbull says Paris attack has 'hallmarks' of an Isis operation
-
Eyewitness in the stadium:
I went to watch the game. In the middle of first half, there was an explosion. I thought that’s unusual, but then the second explosion happened and our seats were shaking – then I realised something bigger may be happening.

But still we didn’t do anything. I was with a bunch of friends and none of us were looking at our cell phones. Then towards the end of the match our friends started phoning.

The match went on to the 90th minute. By then you had the sense that everyone had the information about what was going on. Everyone was silent. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife. It was horrible.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:26 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


The last time France got really upset, its police officers basically staged pogroms and massacred Algerians in the streets.

Seems notable that this was while France was still regularly beheading people.
posted by XMLicious at 11:33 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't stomach the idea of blaming France for any of this. I instead think on something I read tonight from Reddit:

'Opinion: The goal of these attacks is to make the West hate muslims indiscriminately. No matter how upset we are, we must resist this. We must remember that IS is doing this to other muslims in Syria every day, and welcome them as refugees and allies.' –reddit user 'Stereo'


Except this example itself is a piece of ideology. If the West is susceptible to a ressentiment that is supposedly so easily manipulated, what does that say about the ideology of the West as a whole, and its complicity in the existence of IS, a backlash against global capitalistic hierarchy and hegemony? What does that say about the ideology of those who passively support this kind of structure, turning a blind eye, until something like this draws our attention? Of those who write and propagate these half-baked rhetoric on narrowly progressive platforms such as reddit?

It is not enough to resist hate, indiscriminate or otherwise. It is better to transcend it, but that requires a measure of self-criticism as opposed to localizing and compartmentalizing blame on any group that one may identify: in this example, the abstracted, othering opposition of "IS muslims" versus "other muslims in Syria", creating a false choice for the reader where blame and compassion are partitioned, and empathy non-existent.

It is an ideological distortion of a fundamental order when one claims these people are allies and those people are sanctioned enemies. It turns politics into a farce.
posted by polymodus at 11:43 PM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


How to cope with traumatic news - an illustrated guide
The era of 24-hour news brings traumatic events directly into everyone's lives. Here's how that can affect people, especially children, and some strategies for coping.
posted by valetta at 11:46 PM on November 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is anybody watching BBC world news right now? I think they just reported via police that the only people who died at the stadium were the bombers themselves but I'm not sure if I heard that right.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:54 PM on November 13, 2015




It is not enough to resist hate, indiscriminate or otherwise. It is better to transcend it, but that requires a measure of self-criticism as opposed to localizing and compartmentalizing blame on any group that one may identify: in this example, the abstracted, othering opposition of "IS muslims" versus "other muslims in Syria", creating a false choice for the reader where blame and compassion are partitioned, and empathy non-existent.

Baby steps. I am full of compassion, but I feel comfortable finding a place for the homeless, sheltering victims of IS before needing to welcome IS itself.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:58 PM on November 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I do not say anything to criticize anything of you that was shared above. And thank you for sharing. It's just that redditors and the way they think make me furious sometimes.
posted by polymodus at 12:06 AM on November 14, 2015


The attacks are doubly disturbing coming so quickly on the heels of the (almost certain according to officials) ISIS bomb taking down the Russian airliner. That didn't get a thread here probably because of the inherent uncertainty involved in air disasters but it killed 224 people, more than even the attacks in Paris.

Two such major and pre-planned attacks so close together in time but with such very different targets is a major escalation. I can't decide if it would be scarier if the same group was responsible for both or different groups. Either case has not-good implications.
posted by Justinian at 12:12 AM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Neither Islamic, nor a state.
posted by Wolof at 12:15 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why go pick fights with the reddit hive mind. Resisting fear will be enough accomplishment, given the way the news and certain politics feed on anxiety which is a primal reaction. Make your case for self-flagellation or whatever reaction you sanction stand on its own.
posted by Tobu at 12:22 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Besides chaos and destruction, isn't celebrity what they want?

Recruitment and funding.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:24 AM on November 14, 2015


Fuck the killers.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:27 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why go pick fights with the reddit hive mind. Resisting fear will be enough accomplishment, given the way the news feeds on anxiety which is a primal reaction. Make your case for self-flagellation or whatever reaction you sanction stand on its own.

I made my case in 3 paragraphs. Please actually read it before commenting. With your kind of attitude here, I'm done.
posted by polymodus at 12:27 AM on November 14, 2015


Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny, whose apartment overlooks the emergency exit of the Bataclan has posted an extraordinary video, of people clambering out of windows to escape from the theatre - a scene he said reminded him of 9/11.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:30 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


If today's attacks in Paris (as well as last week's Russian plane downing) are the work of "ISIR/ISIS/IS", this singularly evil entity, then why haven't they made a peep claiming credit for them? (Which they apparently DID do right after the suicide bombings in Lebanon just yesterday) This is where I apply one of my most reliable principles: "Things are never as simple as they appear", not even terrorism.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:38 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


ISIS did release videos claiming credit for the airliner. Nothing yet from anybody for Paris, but that's not unusual as its not even been 12 hours.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


At the moment we can deplore the facts we have and wait for more to emerge - anything else is premature, I think.
posted by Segundus at 12:49 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do not say anything to criticize anything of you that was shared above. And thank you for sharing. It's just that redditors and the way they think make me furious sometimes.

I suggest you transcend your furious feelings with some of the self criticism and empathy you extend in your thoughts towards Daesh.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:50 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


.
posted by mark k at 12:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


polymodus,

Do you think you can understand ISIS by looking inside yourself? There's nothing wrong with a measure of healthy self-awareness and self-criticism, but to suggest that Westerners can understand the ideology of a group like ISIS by engaging in what's essentially reflective introspection, approaching it by asking questions about Western ideology and engaging in "self-criticism", to me seems like a solipsistic attitude. Why not read and watch their propaganda and take it on its own terms? It's pretty light on criticism of "global capitalistic hierarchy and hegemony", and pretty heavy on declaring this or that minority or group of Muslims as apostates and justifying their murder.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 12:55 AM on November 14, 2015 [46 favorites]


> I made my case in 3 paragraphs. Please actually read it before commenting. I'm done.

Fine. Daech is more than «a backlash against global capitalistic hierarchy and hegemony». It has extended terror and dehumanising torture to the territory it controls. It is not particularly opposed to capitalism, and is in fact managed as a for-profit venture. Even while extending empathy to the entire human species, these people's net impact is as negative as it gets. Even then, extending empathy to its Syrian victims doesn't other anyone else and doesn't passively support capitalism.
posted by Tobu at 12:57 AM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


It seems to me that the tone of France's response to these attacks will be telegraphed in the next 24 hours by whether or not they call an emergency meeting of NATO. NATOs mutual defense clause was invoked, so far as I'm aware, for the first and only time on September 12th, 2001. Whether France pushes for something similar will be a flashing neon sign of what is or isn't to come.

That's assuming they know whether this was homegrown or not by now. That seems likely since they have the bodies of the terrorists so it shouldn't be difficult to determine whether they are French citizens or not.
posted by Justinian at 1:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by ojemine at 1:05 AM on November 14, 2015


.
posted by brilliantmistake at 1:17 AM on November 14, 2015


(source re Daesh management style)
posted by Tobu at 1:20 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't stomach the idea of blaming France for any of this.

Me neither, but questions and tentative answers about why is there a higher number of radicalized Muslim young men in France joining ISIS in Syria and plotting this horror at home don't necessarily mean blame.

The question "why France" is on everyone's minds - and everyone is wondering what's the risk in the rest of Europe too - other countries on security alert now, so you do wonder.

There has been and will be lots more analysis and commentary on this in the media, of varying depth and insight. You could add all the contributing factors you can think of that lead young men in their 20s like the attackers from yesterday to such ideological radicalization – in the end though, the level of ideology behind any terrorism, more so this kind, has its own internal self-reinforcing power, to the point where "why France" boils down to a matter of numbers:
According to most estimates, France has lost more people to militant Islam than any other country in Europe: a report by the French senate in April concluded that at least 1,430 of the 3,000-plus known European jihadis who had then travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis were French.

The AFP news agency reported earlier this year that French intelligence services were monitoring another 1,570 people who authorities believed had some kind of connection to Syrian networks, while up to 7,000 more were considered at risk of heading down the same path.

It's also a big question for intelligence services, especially with this kind of mind-boggling coordination of the attacks. Lots of people will be blaming intelligence failures, but you do wonder if those numbers themselves are making it harder for intelligence to cope.
"Determined guys who are prepared to die, who have studied their target and have a solid operational background, they can do a lot of damage," Yves Trotignon, who used to work for DGSE intelligence agency's anti-terrorist service, recently told AFP.

"More jihadist fighters are graduating as veterans every day. Faced with that, it has to be said, the (security) services are overwhelmed," he said.
...Many people will ask questions about failures in intelligence gathering and sharing, about prevention of such acts and they will be right. However, when the danger is so diffuse, no democracy that values freedom of speech and movement is completely safe.
posted by bitteschoen at 1:21 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Recruitment and funding.

Funding. At some point, actual real money is involved. That means banks. That means there's some way to cut this off at the root by maybe... enforcing banking regulations in whatever authorities have jurisdiction.

We. Are. Fucked.
posted by mikelieman at 1:31 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Merde, et plus la merde, meme plus de larmes que je pensais que mon crane pourrait contenir.

For decades I've dreamed of living once more in Paris.

I remember the film Battle of Algiers. This is as much a reignition of historical antagonisms as it is any new phenomenon. I don't see any good scenarios, reactions, or resolutions. Either the steady drip of terrorism pushes Europe over the edge into fascism, or the present neoliberal consensus acts proactively to terminate the groups at the root, which, in a best case would be a UN or NATO invasion similar to the Kosovo crisis of 1999.
But the reality is that peace-keeping would be a ham-fisted shambolic affair, conducted on a budget with PMCs. The nations of the West will not commit to the kind of war that would make a salient difference, nor will there be a sufficient 'Marshall Plan' of reconstruction to prevent ressentiment.

I'm going to say something controversial here: the worst French atrocities in Syria were during the Great Syrian Revolt of 1926-1928. 3000 died in that revolt. Which is a pittance compared to the numbers killed by the Ottomans, or by the Assad regime, or by the present civil war.

I will, in fact, advocate Western imperialism as a preferable alternate to the present genocidal anarchy of the Syrian civil war. We intervened to stabilize Bosnia and Kosovo, similar states undergoing ethnic and secular atrocities. I would further make the argument that imperialism is a canard, a word used by non-western powers to criticize hegemonic behaviors. Syria is already a ragged doll squabbled between by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran. At this point I don't see how a US or NATO presence could possibly make things worse than they already are.

But that's not going to happen. There will be a stepped up patter of bombing raids and drone strikes, but nothing on the ground, be it soldiers or aid stations.

The true answer, of course, would be to recognize the real root, Salafism. Saudi Arabia is the greatest enemy of the West, a repugnant monarchy long overdue for overthrow, that has been exporting hate for decades, and has mutated Islam as a religion profoundly, at a level comparable to Suleiman the Lawgiver, the Ummayyads, the Mongol and Crusader invasions. We're not going to see any tractable change in this status quo until we engage in a concentrated effort to change the flavor and nature of Islam itself, through a committed and broad spectrum war of propaganda. That, and actually going after the banks and the heroin trade. But that's not going to happen.

That sucking feeling in your gut is humanity plunging into the abyss. Hang on folks, the 21st century is going to be an unremitting nightmare. It's alright to scream.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 1:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [43 favorites]


approaching it by asking questions about Western ideology and engaging in "self-criticism", to me seems like a solipsistic attitude. Why not read and watch their propaganda and take it on its own terms?

Last time we had a terror attack in London, the killer said things like 'if you come to our country and kill our people, we will come to yours and kill you.'
posted by colie at 1:51 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


.

I've been crying and thinking about all this. In my social circle, people are posting hashtags and photos about the tragedy, most only for Paris, but some also post for Lebanon (45 dead) and Baghdad (14 dead). Even though it's almost halfway the world over, to see people sympathizing and mourning others whom they don't know, have different languages and skin colour not to mention religion and culture is a proof of some kind that we could care, at least superficially, for each one of us in this world by the same measure that we care for the ones closer to us; that our worth in this world is no different.

But. Perhaps because I'm an Indonesian and living in a predominantly Muslim-populated country, I see for.. almost every week, news from Iraq, from Suriah, Afghanistan, some from Africa. The occurrences of news from those regions that made headlines were at least a magnitude higher if I compare it to the western media's reports (which I also consume regularly).

And those news aren't good. A bombing here, a bombing there; airstrike in unknown locations that might or might not targeted at militants, another bomb in the market, a family killed, a bomb in Baghdad, another family killed, another bomb in Baghdad, 'operations' by a western force that killed hundreds, a bomb, airstrikes that killed more than usual, another airstrike, and yet another spate of bomb attacks.

You get the point. We, or at least I, have a direct exposure to reports that the western hemisphere are probably more protected from. And that's a real tragedy, and I can't -- couldn't -- help to feel that perhaps human lives aren't equal. Never has been, and never will be. Maybe that's normal and expected because people live in tribes, imagined or otherwise, and couldn't live happily, normally, without at least blinding themselves to most of the world's tragedies. Maybe that's how the world simply works.
posted by tirta-yana at 2:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [66 favorites]


Hollande blames attack on Islamic State

Hollande said 127 people were killed in the attacks, which he described as an “act of war”. He said the attacks were co-ordinated, planned and organised from abroad with assistance from inside France.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die: I think they just reported via police that the only people who died at the stadium were the bombers themselves but I'm not sure if I heard that right.

Oh I'm so hoping that you did. The image of terrorists as clueless klods, not invincible evil supermen, is strangely heartening.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:18 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, on the one hand there is some, "You can't even do that right you fucking losers," but more I'm thanking God for their incompetence if that is the case. If they did it in the crowds before the match instead of when the match had already started it could have been hundreds of additional deaths.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:22 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yup, Le Monde says the three terrorists blowing themselves up outside the stade made a single victim.
posted by Tobu at 2:23 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The injured Eagles of Death Metal concert goer Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny and his neighbours managed to rescue and shelter in their apartment block was American:
I then went downstairs to open the door to my apartment so people could come in to take refuge, and so I opened the door of the building. There was a man lying on the pavement, and an another man whom I did not see again, he was shot as he was trying to take shelter in the lobby.

That’s the moment I took a bullet. I don’t remember much after that, I have a blank, but I remember feeling like a firecracker had exploded in my left arm and it was pissing blood. I think the shooter was at the window of the Bataclan. I went up to some neighbours on the fourth floor.

The guy we did get in [to the apartment] was shot in the leg. He was an American. He vomited, he was cold and we thought he was going to die. We called the emergency services but we could not leave. I called a friend who is a doctor and he explained how to make a tourniquet with my shirt. We were stuck in the apartment until the police raid occurred and they came to find us.
[Guardian live blog translation of Psenny's piece this morning in Le Monde.]
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:25 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


11/13/15

Un poeme mutile, pour un jour de mutiles:

Je n’e pas assez de larmes a pleurer,
Comme je l’ai pourrait vouloir a pleurer;
Je n’ai pas mains suffisamennt de tordre,
Comme je l’aurais tordent mains dans ma couer;
Mes cris carrement rejoinder le choeur,
Qu’eclats maintenat partout dans le monde contreceur.
Un brouillard de dolor que s’accroche froidement,
A qui cela nous fait fremir pour degrevement.

Aujord’hui, ils ont fait un beau pays pleurent;
Demain, ils entendront un beau pays tonnerent.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 2:30 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I haven't really had much time to comment on mefi lately, but it was the first place I thought of after making sure friends and acquaintances were safe. I'm afraid. I'm not afraid of terrorists and their attacks. I'm afraid we'll reply in a way that plays into their hands. I'm afraid islamophobia will further radicalise marginalised people. I'm afraid of a blind strike that leads to even less stability like G.W. Bush & co's efforts, which largely led to yesterday night. I'm afraid of refugees fleeing from ISIS being further targeted due to the actions of their oppressors. I'm afraid fascist movements will make hay out of the attacks and I'm afraid of that because that's the only way to snuff out the lights of Paris.

However, I also hope that human decency and all the values that make our lives worth living will come through in the end. I won't stop believing in that.

It's been said that the European Union has molded itself through a succession of crises and we have interlocking ones in our hands. Let's take the right decisions.

Stay safe, Paris and Parisian Mefites.
posted by ersatz at 2:40 AM on November 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


I call people who cut me off in traffic "fucking assholes". Calling mass-murdering extremists by that same name seems less than adequate.

Less than adequate by name, less than adequate by nature. Works for me.
posted by flabdablet at 2:41 AM on November 14, 2015


We. Are. Fucked.

i know this hard to look away from and, in a gruesome kind of way, fascinating, but this is not the end of the world. the death toll is not that much larger than the bombing in turkey about a month ago, and less than the russian airliner a couple of weeks back. both of which are likely already from your mind.

without wishing to downplay anyone's suffering, life does go on. more than that, over-reacting is exactly what this kind of act is meant to provoke. worse yet, there's a feedback loop.
posted by andrewcooke at 2:41 AM on November 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


timeline
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:41 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's overreacting to respond this way to the general trend of things, andrewcooke.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:43 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm reminded of something the great Dexter Filkins wrote about 9/11: the evening of the attacks, he got around the perimeter and somewhere near the towers site came across some human remains on the street. I think he had just returned from the Middle East and he wrote something to the effect of the mind-scrambling feeling that what he was seeing a scene that he had come across in say, Lebanon.

Beyond sadness for Paris, I feel a great anticipatory sadness as to what this will do to the fortunes of Syrian refugees trying to enter Europe. Because similar to NYC in 9/11, I guess the ME has been horrifically dropped on the head of Parisians, and what good can come of this, I wonder. Recognizing we live on the same planet and there is really no way to seal ourselves off from horror doesn't seem in the past to have resulted in anything good.

A friend and I who were in NYC on 9/11 went to Paris two months later. I won't ever forget how Parisians, upon hearing that we were from New York, would hug us. I was expecting to be intimidated by Parisians, but here they were, hugging us.

I wish I could hug everybody in Paris who needs one, right now. But I'll settle I guess for hugging my SIL, who has family in Paris.
posted by angrycat at 2:46 AM on November 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Daesh is claiming the attacks.
posted by Tobu at 2:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Le .

(Would it be bad to mention a positive out of this? Never heard of Eagles of Death Metal before and I kinda like them.)
posted by Samizdata at 2:59 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Daily Radio France International broadcasts for anyone wanting another English-language French source. These are normally broadcast in Africa, as I understand. RFI English terrorism tag for text articles.
posted by XMLicious at 3:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Daesh is claiming the attacks.

Might be better to avoid unsourced tweets, for now.
posted by progosk at 3:08 AM on November 14, 2015


Confirmed on the guardian.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Le Monde and the Guardian consider it official.
posted by Tobu at 3:10 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


..............................................................................................................................
posted by PROD_TPSL at 3:22 AM on November 14, 2015


OK (can't be too careful when in the thick and fast). In which case, what's up with their mention of the 18eme, are there reports of something that happened there that I'm missing?
posted by progosk at 3:34 AM on November 14, 2015


That footage from Le Monde is horrific. The people who could have fled with the crowds and stopped to remove shooting victims from the scene will be traumatised, uncounted victims of this horror. It's never just the people who are shot, or stabbed, or bombed; it's also the people left standing, covered in their blood.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:40 AM on November 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


> what's up with their mention of the 18eme

I don't know, it's propaganda. The 200 death toll is an exaggeration as of now. 18e is in between 10e and Saint Denis, there was no attack there. Along with the neighborhoods of the attack, it is an area where disadvantaged immigrants live (though not just them, it's fairly diverse economically) and where they might wish to recruit; that's probably why they mention it.
posted by Tobu at 3:45 AM on November 14, 2015




When horrific tragedies like this happen, I tend to think about the families of those hurt and killed. How each of them are affected by this - how the death or injury to their family member will be a part of their lives forever. How siblings will remember their brother or sister, how a parent will remember their child, how a spouse will remember their husband or wife, how this keeps going on and on after the moment.

So I'm sitting here thinking about the people who died and the people who love/d them.
And that's my moment of silence.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:58 AM on November 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Several of my friends were at a party just above the restaurant. I realized early on that I didn't want to write anything about them in a public media. They are all safe now after a dark night which must have been endless. Those who do not live in France have been allowed to travel home.
posted by mumimor at 4:00 AM on November 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


Terrorism is a stupid mental framework for this. It makes people think about political motives and law enforcement response, neither of which is remotely useful.

This was a military operation by a de facto foreign power likely with a domestic Fifth Column integrally involved. The violation of the laws of war that occurred don't make it non-military or make non-military responses sensible ... although war crimes trials of any Daesh leaders caught alive would certainly be justified.
posted by MattD at 4:00 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


The image of terrorists as clueless klods, not invincible evil supermen, is strangely heartening.

Four Lions
posted by kliuless at 4:04 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Terrorism is a stupid mental framework for this. It makes people think about political motives and law enforcement response, neither of which is remotely useful.

I really don't know where this kind of comment is going. It was about as obviously a terrorist act as any could be, and the motives for it are pretty obvious (and also listed in the claim of responsibility, if it's real - France was 'striking Muslims in the Caliphate with their planes').
posted by colie at 4:06 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité... Securité. (1, 2, 3, 4.)
posted by progosk at 4:08 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Angela Merkel's interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, had been tightening policy again after Merkel's open refugee policy, and she finally backed him up a few days ago, with a statement on Friday.
posted by Tobu at 4:10 AM on November 14, 2015


Jason Burke, always worth a read, on the Daesh/IS/ISIL/etc 'claim of responsibility'.
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:12 AM on November 14, 2015


Since Isis wants to be a "state" now I sincerely hope that France does treat this as an act of war by such a state and acts appropriately.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:14 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


This was a military operation by a de facto foreign power likely with a domestic Fifth Column integrally involved. The violation of the laws of war that occurred don't make it non-military or make non-military responses sensible ... although war crimes trials of any Daesh leaders caught alive would certainly be justified.

Odd you should put it this way. Daesh/ISIS grew out of Sunni Arab resistance to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. This was an unprovoked war against a state that posed no specific threat to the US, that is, a "war of choice," possibly the gravest "war crime" coming out of the resolution of WWII. US soldiers killed at least 100,000 Iraqis. They killed those Iraqis not necessarily because they hated Iraqis or Muslims in general, although many of them did. They killed them because they were told to. If these people killed Parisians out of hate, what does it mean to kill people simply because it's your job? Citizens of the 'Western" powers are members of some of the most insanely militarized cultures on earth. "Peaceful" France is armed to the teeth, including nuclear weapons, and the French haven't been shy about using some of those weapons, or selling them to people who will. We aren't "victims" of a crime but active participants in a whole range of activities that would be counted as crimes if we had any interest in prosecuting ourselves.

Last I heard, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and a host of smaller names are all alive, wealthy, living freely, and unlikely to face any sort of formal justice. Frankly, as a US citizen, talking about "war crimes" makes me sick and reminds me of how powerless I feel to bring any of these criminals, fellow citizens, to justice.
posted by ennui.bz at 4:17 AM on November 14, 2015 [136 favorites]


>We aren't "victims" of a crime but active participants in a whole range of activities that would be counted as crimes if we had any interest in prosecuting ourselves.

No. Just no.

I agree that all countries do heinous things politically and in the course of such politically motivated actions innocent people do die and it's a tragedy and in a more just world should be a crime. But equating such actions to the actions of a terrorist state like ISIS and their actions - such as what happened last evening - is not only a false comparison but does great injustice to the victims of such terrorism. We did not force the hands of terrorists to do the things they did last night - they, and the people behind them, take all the responsibility for that on their own heads. I do not remotely accept blaming the victims here.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:24 AM on November 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


US soldiers killed at least 100,000 Iraqis.

On top of all the ones they porno-tortured, DVDs of which are available in any middle east market. And still people ask 'why do they hate us?'


France sure messed up when they gave all that support to the Iraq invasion.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:27 AM on November 14, 2015 [25 favorites]


Since Isis wants to be a "state" now I sincerely hope that France does treat this as an act of war by such a state

To choose such symmetry still seems a really fraught point, though - even down to what name to adopt for the group. (My instinct cries for Daesh - and yet... it's not clear this is right/best.)
posted by progosk at 4:31 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's only OK to talk about 'the West' as a single entity when you're defending it.
posted by colie at 4:32 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]




France wasn't part of the Iraq-war coalition, but they are very much part of the current situation in Syria. Which is intertwined with that in Iraq. This is all just such a mess, and there is no easy way out.

Till last night, I haven't been scared. It isn't because last night was "closer to home", there has been an act of terror 700 meters from my front door. It's because this gives me the feeling I had on 9/11 - that from this point on, things will go down very, very fast.

I'm also scared for my kids. I want to forbid them to go to public events or bars. I want to change our lives and move to the country. And I am scared of my own fear. If I feel like this, millions of others are feeling the same, are more easily manipulated, are more fearful of strangers and of travel.
posted by mumimor at 4:37 AM on November 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


BBC just now reported that Islamic state has claimed responsibility and stated that this attack (ed. on civilians) was in response to the French attack on french ISIS military targets.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 4:38 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Since Isis wants to be a "state" now I sincerely hope that France does treat this as an act of war by such a state and acts appropriately.

I certainly can't think of any times when declaring war in the Middle East in response to a terrorist attack failed to make everything better. Let's keep doing that.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:06 AM on November 14, 2015 [58 favorites]


If I feel like this, millions of others are feeling the same, are more easily manipulated, are more fearful of strangers and of travel.

I'm sorry. It's true - that happened here, after 9/11. I had occasional residual freakouts for at least a couple years afterward and my sense of concern when things don't seem right in a public place is dramatically heightened ever since. We (USA, at least NY-area) really aren't the same people we were before that. Americans were extremely sheeplike in the months to follow - a little bewildered, overly willing to yield to what people who'd been tracking terrorism thought was a good approach to intervention. Even people who despised our President gave him support for a short time, out of shock and fear.

I hope things are different now, with our accumulated global modern experience and our far better understanding of what terrorism is and what responses are counterproductive- and that France will respond and recover much better than we did - its cultural resilience is the stuff of legend. Our trauma resulted in a lot of frightened, angry sword-clattering and a rush to war, making everything worse. It is clear to me there were other choices available in our aftermath, other rhetorics and initiatives that could have put us in a very different place. If it's possible to become active in supporting those efforts, that might provide some relief.

If 9/11 is any guide, you won't feel this afraid forever. What I found most needed in the immediate aftermath was getting outside in the brightness of day to be with others in public places - parks, museums, downtowns; spending time with loved ones, and turning off the media when it became too much and doing something very simple - cooking, watching a movie, playing a board game. I also gravitated to churches a bit as there was a spate of services and open hours for people feeling troubled (I realize that's not for everyone but I found it helped, even as just a quiet space where people were taking things seriously rather than screaming about revenge). There were volunteer opportunities after 9/11 to help people struck by the tragedy, and there were many ceremonies, memorials, vigils, etc. - I found it helped to participate in those because they strongly reaffirmed enduring values of peace, regard for one another, and community. Everyone will be in shock for a bit and then small, sad things may set you and others off into sadness or fear for some time to come without warning. Take care of each other.
posted by Miko at 5:17 AM on November 14, 2015 [34 favorites]




Isis makes al-Qaeda look like choirboys. This article is really informative (link to the Atlantic).
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 5:26 AM on November 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Let's not add to the macabre spectacle already before us by wishing violence on vast groups of people, is my suggestion. Also some metacommentary deleted -- apologies to those of you who only wanted to point out a problematic comment but those tend to get deleted as well, even if only because they would make no sense after the deletion of the problematic comment. I hope you understand. And just very generally: it's a big thread, a messed-up situation and we're all a bit tense; then taking the proverbial deep breath before hitting Post does genuinely help in a significant way. I see lots of that happening too, and I want to thank you for it.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:31 AM on November 14, 2015 [33 favorites]


Imagine, mobile piano solo, outside the Bataclan.
posted by progosk at 5:42 AM on November 14, 2015 [9 favorites]




In related news, "Jihadi John" was apparently killed by a drone strike and a suspected accomplice arrested in Turkey.
posted by Sir Rinse at 6:05 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Respectfully, Sir Rinse, that event is only related by time. A coordinated terrorist attack such as what happened in Paris last night takes many months to prepare and was planned long before the drone strike on Emwazi.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


...many months to prepare and was planned long before the drone strike on Emwazi.

Both were being prepared and planned at the same time.
posted by Sir Rinse at 6:16 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you're looking for an analogy to counter people who are broadly equating a religious group with the few individuals who carried out this atrocity, ask them if they think the Westboro Baptist Church speaks for all Christians.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:20 AM on November 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


Daesh has limited ability to strike back at the western military forces hitting them in Syria and Iraq. They have no aircraft carriers or drones. What they have is a fanatic group of fighters willing to die and capable of blending into the population of the overseas powers that are bombing them in the middle east; America projects power with aircraft carriers, Daesh projects power with terror cells. Both possible responses by the west to this incident are wins for them - if the war in the middle east and the resulting anti-Islamic propaganda is turned up they get more disaffected youth flocking to their cause, and if the west decides to step back (a less likely outcome, to be sure) then some of the military pressure on their Syrian and Iraqi fronts is relieved.

A lot more innocent people are going to die as a result of this.
posted by dazed_one at 6:23 AM on November 14, 2015


>Daesh has limited ability to strike back at the western military forces hitting them in Syria and Iraq.

Untrue. They could target world military bases with suicide jihadists if they choose. They chose not to because they are terrorists and specifically target innocent civilians as a terror tactic.

Isis is not a victim here, limited in their abilities to fight back. They are making a very formalized choice to target innocents to spread terror. They are fascists, religious fanatics and utterly contemptible human beings and deserve neither sympathy nor excuses.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:28 AM on November 14, 2015 [48 favorites]


Of course IS has less potent military resources than the western nuclear-armed states currently bombing them. It's got nothing to do with anyone's morality.
posted by colie at 6:33 AM on November 14, 2015




That Graeme Wood article is a really thorough dive into what makes Daesh/IS tick; thanks for the link KA.
posted by progosk at 6:34 AM on November 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm not saying they're victims, and I'm DEFINITELY not defending their actions. I'm postulating on the gains they seek by taking actions like what happened in Paris.
posted by dazed_one at 6:35 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Poland says it cannot accept migrants under EU quotas, following attacks in Paris

QED.
posted by progosk at 6:37 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


That Graeme Wood article is a really thorough dive into what makes Daesh/IS tick; thanks for the link KA.

Previously.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:37 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Poland says it cannot accept migrants under EU quotas, following attacks in Paris

Presumably they were being asked to take French migrants, since the only attacker so far identified was French just like the Hebdo killers.
posted by colie at 6:38 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Islamic state, ISIS or Daesh seems to be structurally new organization in that it's more than a hidden terrorist organization but unlikely to become a true state or even a proto-state. It certainly needs to be dissolved as a group, eliminating core leaders should go a long way but the extreme fanatical religiosity tied to it's core ideology may make that a hard problem.

But there does seem to be some awareness in the upper reaches of the western and hopefully eastern governments that when it is dissolved there will be a vacuum. And vacuums will be filled, with stuff that is worse if not with something good and helpful to the local population. It does not seem like the US has a good handle on how to improve these folks lives so the regular moderate people can get on to some kind of normalcy of of life. Hard to imagine Putin's Russia directly helping or Saudi Arabia. Could we bring back the Ottomans?
posted by sammyo at 6:40 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Untrue. They could target world military bases with suicide jihadists if they choose. They chose not to because they are terrorists and specifically target innocent civilians as a terror tactic.

Terrorism is an asymmetrical strategy of fighting a power that has much more military might than the other side; they don't strike at the west with terror tactics because they are terrorists, they use terror tactics against the west because we have an order of magnitude more military might and hardware than them.

And they do strike at military bases and are fighting a semi-conventional war on the ground in Syria and Iraq.
posted by dazed_one at 6:42 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Presumably they were being asked to take French migrants, since the only attacker so far identified was French just like the Hebdo killers.

There have been reports of Syrian and Egyptian passports. Not that it establishes the attackers were refugees, or even snuck in among refugees.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:42 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could we bring back the Ottomans?

I know you're kidding, but the Ottomans never really left, they just started calling themselves Turkey. And there's already enough ethnic groups chafing under Turkish governance.
posted by dazed_one at 6:44 AM on November 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


CBS Shifts Emphasis of Democratic Debate to Reflect Paris Attacks nyt
In the hours after the deadly attacks in Paris, CBS News significantly reworked its plans for the Democratic presidential debate it is hosting here on Saturday night to focus more on issues of terrorism, national security and foreign relations.

The CBS News team immediately shifted gears and reformulated questions to make them more directly related to the attacks. Mr. Capus said it was important for the debate to go on because the world looks to the American president for leadership during international crises.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:45 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The notion that this is a "military" operation, even if described as such, is a bit unconvincing. It represented no threat to the capacities of the French state at all and was defeated almost as soon as it commenced, without requiring any military planning or mobilization.

Terrorist attacks are painful and alarming to the upper class civilians they're meant to influence. Militarily, they hardly register. Every single French warplane and cruiser remains unscathed.
posted by ead at 6:47 AM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


The notion that this is a "military" operation, even if described as such, is a bit unconvincing. It represented no threat to the capacities of the French state at all and was defeated almost as soon as it commenced, without requiring any military planning or mobilization.

Terrorist attacks are painful and alarming to the upper class civilians they're meant to influence. Militarily, they hardly register. Every single French warplane and cruiser remains unscathed.


Wars are fought, won and lost by more factors than who has the most cruisers, tanks and guns. If a strike like this increases the flow of recruits Daesh receives, then it's a success. If a strike like this sways western popular opinion against Islam, then it's a win.
posted by dazed_one at 6:50 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could we bring back the Ottomans?

I know you're joking, but this would probably be unpopular among Armenians.
posted by pullayup at 6:51 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


An interview done last night outside the Bataclan with a middle-white, middle-aged, middle class French couple (and let's not pretend these things do not matter, because they do) is being broadcast on France 24. The couple were held hostage in the bar inside and are absolutely insistent that one of the two gunmen holding them was French. They were not more specific than that.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]




I certainly can't think of any times when declaring war in the Middle East in response to a terrorist attack failed to make everything better. Let's keep doing that.

I don't think anybody who has read any of my comments on western military adventurism over the past decade and a half could fail to see the disdain in them but even I can draw a large distinction between attacking a country that had absolutely nothing to do with attacking us (Iraq) and attacking a pseudo-state which had everything to do with attacking other countries (ISIS). That doesn't mean large scale military involvement is the solution here but it's clearly anything but an analogous situation to Iraq.

Iraq was an innocent bystander. ISIS is not.
posted by Justinian at 6:55 AM on November 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


Looking at something like this I am just filled with a great sadness and sympathy for the people of France.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 6:58 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The notion that this is a "military" operation, even if described as such, is a bit unconvincing. It represented no threat to the capacities of the French state at all and was defeated almost as soon as it commenced, without requiring any military planning or mobilization.

Terrorist attacks are painful and alarming to the upper class civilians they're meant to influence. Militarily, they hardly register. Every single French warplane and cruiser remains unscathed.


I would lean towards calling it terrorism but I can see the military view too. They weren't defeated, they were successful in their mission. They killed people the cruisers and planes are built to protect and they did it fast and stealthily enough that the French military had no opportunity to stop them.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:58 AM on November 14, 2015


They killed people the cruisers and planes are built to protect

The cruisers and planes are built to protect the security of the French state, which if anything will soon be strengthened as a result.
posted by colie at 7:02 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The notion that this is a "military" operation, even if described as such, is a bit unconvincing. It represented no threat to the capacities of the French state at all and was defeated almost as soon as it commenced, without requiring any military planning or mobilization.

Terrorist attacks are painful and alarming to the upper class civilians they're meant to influence. Militarily, they hardly register. Every single French warplane and cruiser remains unscathed.


The attacks register militarily in that they are so intolerable to civilians (of all socioeconomic statuses) that a police response is unlikely to be seen as sufficient by a panicked public, and the response becomes militarized. In other words, this isn't some big mafia shooting that can be handled by a big police response and everyone will be happy with it. It's intentionally calibrated to make a military response inevitable.
posted by tempythethird at 7:06 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah the French state is my point here. Wars are between states. The French state has the option of ignoring this entirely. It only warrants a military response if someone decides it does. It absolutely could be handled as a criminal case.
posted by ead at 7:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I know you're joking, but this would probably be unpopular among Armenians.

Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians. The Turks/Ottomans were equal opportunity on the ethnicities they purged.
posted by Talez at 7:09 AM on November 14, 2015


I'm almost certainly being naive about the scale of things, but I don't understand how oil flows out and money arms and supplies flow into [ISIS/whatever].

My heart aches for Paris. Be strong.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:10 AM on November 14, 2015


It absolutely could be handled as a criminal case.

Do the French police have jurisdiction over ISIS territory in Syria or Iraq?
posted by Justinian at 7:12 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm almost certainly being naive about the scale of things, but I don't understand how oil flows out and money arms and supplies flow into [ISIS/whatever].

That's not naive, that's the crux of the issue. What nation has many wealthy elite, shares Wahhabist Islamic beliefs, and would gain from a disruption to the flow of oil from that part of the middle east?
posted by dazed_one at 7:13 AM on November 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


Artful Codger : Most sources seem to agree that very wealthy people from both Saudi Arabian and Quatar are responsible for much of Isis funding.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 7:14 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm almost certainly being naive about the scale of things, but I don't understand how oil flows out and money arms and supplies flow into [ISIS/whatever].

Well you take the oil to Turkey, Syria, other places in Iraq and you sell it to an oil extractor for 50 cents on the dollar. They magically have an increase in production! Oil is clean, sold in the regular market because oil is almost entirely fungible and you go on your merry way. Then you rock up to an arms dealer in Turkey or Egypt with suitcases full of cash and they deliver a plane/truck load of Kalashnikovs and RPGs.
posted by Talez at 7:15 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


It absolutely could be handled as a criminal case.

We're talking about a large city that has suffered multiple traumas in a short amount of time. I imagine that more than justice it is protection and security that people want right now. Wrongly or rightly, a military response makes people feel safe.
posted by tempythethird at 7:15 AM on November 14, 2015


Military responses to terror attacks are what gave rise to Daesh in the first place. A more thoughtful and measured response are required here, not a safety blanket to make people feel safe.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:21 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


I imagine that more than justice it is protection and security that people want right now.

I was on the tube when the London 7/7 bombs went off, and from what I saw there wasn't much feeling of this among ordinary people in the days after. We all went back on the trains a couple of days later with the gloomy understanding that there wasn't much anyone could do to stop further attacks other than not start any more stupid wars in the middle east. A feeling which wasn't reflected by the hysterical media of course. Not long after, the police killed a totally innocent guy and from then on things felt very much back to normal.
posted by colie at 7:22 AM on November 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


Most sources seem to agree that very wealthy people from both Saudi Arabian and Quatar are responsible for much of Isis funding.

Yet the West isn't declaring war on them? (this is the naive part).

On a more practical level, how does this funding and support actually get to them? Cheques in the mail? UPS?

Well you take the oil to Turkey, Syria, other places in Iraq and you sell it to an oil extractor for 50 cents on the dollar. ...Then you rock up to an arms dealer in Turkey or Egypt with suitcases full of cash and they deliver a plane/truck load of Kalashnikovs and RPGs.

I have trouble understanding why this can't be choked off somehow. The more cynical me thinks that it hasn't because of other hidden Western agendas.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:27 AM on November 14, 2015


Normal is a funny thing, though. If you were there, it's never normal again. At least in New York, I have memories chiseled in me that don't go away.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:27 AM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


>Yet the West isn't declaring war on them? (this is the naive part).

Too rich to prosecute
posted by AGameOfMoans at 7:29 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


> A lot more innocent people are going to die as a result of this.

On 9/11 I was watching TV in a conference room with a few other people I worked with at the time, and this is almost exactly what one of them said shortly after the second tower fell. He was right, here's hoping you're wrong.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:31 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you accept the premise that the reason for a military is to protect a country and its citizens then this was a victory for Daesh / Isis.
These islamic Fundamentalists aren't playing by any rules you might care to put in place. They want the West to implode by causing terror which no amount of security theatre will halt.
I think historically this phase of radical Islamlic terror warfare can be dated from 9/11 accepting that there were previous outrages but not so much in the West. Bin Laden's strategy has proven to work.
The west has to seriously take on the Salafic funding of terror which has been recognized for a decade or more . This means taking on the Saudi's and much of the Gulf which then becomes economic warfare with many vested interests involved. It also means that the West must stop meddling and intervening because this is just the beginning of blowback.
posted by adamvasco at 7:31 AM on November 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Terrorism loses it power when people refuse to feel terrified. But that's easier said than done.
posted by Sir Rinse at 7:32 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


from what I saw there wasn't much feeling of this among ordinary people in the days after.

I think it's just a matter of scale, or perhaps brutality. I'm a New Yorker and during 9/11 the reaction was certainly not a mass stiff upper lip. Some people fled the city, some became paranoid and anxious, a lot of the changes were long lasting. Seeing the military deployed all over NYC and war-planes flying overhead was certainly a comfort to many.

I think the stiff-upper-lip reaction is more plausible when you think "this is terrible but unlikely, what are you going to do." But a certain level of brutality changes this reaction to "nothing is ever how it looks, we are never safe anywhere, chaos is always a possibility." And this is when wars start.
posted by tempythethird at 7:32 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Peace for Paris by jean jullien
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:33 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


'Peace for Paris' illustration becomes symbol of solidarity following Paris attacks

Bit more information on the above post
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:35 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]



I have trouble understanding why this can't be choked off somehow.


Fund research into alternative fuel. THAT's how you choke off the demand for oil.

Until then, the nations that have oil will have the rest of us by the short and curlies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on November 14, 2015 [27 favorites]


tempythethird I think you will find that this war has already been ongoing for 14 years. It is just that the enemy choose to open different fronts as and when they wish.
posted by adamvasco at 7:44 AM on November 14, 2015


Overnight I was thinking - attacks like this take place in a climate of violence against civilians in the Middle East by western states. Is this worse than unchecked drone attacks, bombing a wedding party, bombing a place and then bombing it again when people rush in to look for survivors? There's probably violence against civilians that isn't even making it into the anglophone internet - things we don't even know about. My point isn't "this is fine, it's just an eye for an eye" - it's that this is terrible, it's an eye for an eye.

I think about why someone would do this kind of thing - obviously there's psychological and personal factors, but politically I think these kinds of attacks are also about proving hypocrisy. Western states care tremendously when our civilians are killed, and we always say that it's terrible to kill innocent people. But we're perfectly happy to kill innocent people far away and make up a lot of nonsense about how this is the necessary way to conduct war.

I think that the moral understanding that has to come out of this is that some poor kid in Waziristan is just as afraid and suffers just as badly as the people in Paris. Of course, that's not what anyone will take away; we'll just double on down, and it will never end.

All of it is over oil and power and land, yes, but from an "ordinary people" standpoint, it's also about hypocrisy and violence and fear and in-groups, and where you happen to be born and where you're stuck living.
posted by Frowner at 7:45 AM on November 14, 2015 [86 favorites]


Until then, the nations that have oil will have the rest of us by the short and curlies.

How does this work exactly? Most recent research basically argues that there is no oil weapon. One state simply doesn't have enough of a monopoly to do anything. There's a world oil market, its not just one guy the world buys oil from.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:46 AM on November 14, 2015


TGV train derails near French city of Strasbourg, five killed and seven injured, local media report

Not much yet - I just heard it announced over the TV on BBC.
posted by divabat at 7:48 AM on November 14, 2015


via Instagram: In Epcot France Walt Disney World Florida. Flowers already being laid out. (All of the Cast Members who work in the French pavilion are from France, mostly students.)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:49 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


from someone who lives near the attack sites:
Talk more about the people that yelled in the street the number of the code to their flat when victims where running everywhere to bring them to safety. The man that opened the window of his flat to victims of the Bataclan stranded on the roof.

Talk about the man that went back to help a stranger pregnant woman, and the kid that was carried to safety by a total stranger worried he could be trampled by the crowd.

Talk about the social media, the hashtag #porteouverte to get people out of the street and #voyageavecmoi to help people afraid to travel alone because of their religion/skin color.

Talk about the taxis that stayed in the street, bringing people home for free all night, and the bus drivers that helped evacuate the Bataclan.

The people crowding the blood centers, so much that Paris now has to send them back home.

The people in their home, terrified and in shock, and only waiting for the possibility to crowd the street and show them that we are afraid but not broken, and together.
#rechercheParis is the hashtag being used to search for friends and loved ones unaccounted for in Paris - if you're looking for someone, tweet with that hashtag and you'll be retweeted.
posted by divabat at 7:56 AM on November 14, 2015 [84 favorites]


TGV train derails near French city of Strasbourg, five killed and seven injured, local media report

Note that at the moment this link says that the train derailed during some sort of test, not with travelers or commuters onboard, and that "The AFP news agency is quoting sources as saying the derailment happened due to "excessive speed"."
posted by XMLicious at 8:01 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


A more thoughtful and measured response are required here, not a safety blanket to make people feel safe.

Yes, because worrying about the safety of yourself and your family is just so very small-minded and "thoughtless."

Until then, the nations that have oil will have the rest of us by the short and curlies.

How does this work exactly? Most recent research basically argues that there is no oil weapon. One state simply doesn't have enough of a monopoly to do anything. There's a world oil market, its not just one guy the world buys oil from.


Not to mention that the USA's imports from OPEC are the lowest they've been in thirty years, and look to be getting lower. I think a significant factor at this point isn't just "we need their oil" but also concern about what will happen if the oil wealth ceases to flow into the region. Think of the way China supports North Korea basically to avoid catastrophic collapse on their northeastern border. We're already seeing how strained the EU is by the refugee flows from the Syrian crisis, can you imagine if the Gulf pitched over the edge too?

So we support authoritarian regimes that promise stability, if little else, and subsidize them via oil sales. Which, if you want to get conspiratorial, is an additional reason for the Saudis to covertly fund terrorist groups - their antics remind the West of why they need the House of Saud and it's peers in the rest of the Gulf.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:02 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


127 new comments, show
Ahh...

.
posted by limeonaire at 8:07 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could we bring back the Ottomans?

The history of imperialism and brutality in the Middle East didn't just start with Sykes-Picot, but was in fact part of the centuries long Ottoman domination of the area (and of course other empires before them).
posted by rosswald at 8:11 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


My point isn't "this is fine, it's just an eye for an eye" - it's that this is terrible, it's an eye for an eye.

ISIS would probably be attacking the west even if we were completely uninvolved in Syria or Iraq. They want to provoke the west into attacking them to satisfy their own ideology. They want a backlash in the west against all Muslims in order to bolster their own ranks and to be seen as the only possible savior to all sunni Muslims. They want to discourage European generosity toward the refugees because happy integrated refugees do not help them achieve their goals.

If the west militarily backed out of the ME completely, ISIS would probably figure out ways to attack until they had the military response they wanted. I'm not in favor of war at all, but I'm really at a loss for the right way to handle them.

I don't know why there seems to be such a heroic strain among some people to frame ISIS as simply a retaliation for Western imperialism. Read the great Atlantic article mentioned upthread, or heck, just read their own declaration about the attacks. They're perfectly open about their own motivations. Why not believe them?
posted by tempythethird at 8:13 AM on November 14, 2015 [32 favorites]


The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence
posted by adamvasco at 8:14 AM on November 14, 2015


The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence

1953 is "ancient history" of that part of the world, according to that article. Let's not pretend that the United States is responsible for a mindset that existed centuries before the country did. Does our foreign policy exacerbate it? Yes. Did we cause it? No.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:19 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Short form about ISIS: No doubt people in ISIS believe their beliefs, but there wouldn't be room for ISIS as a movement if large parts of the Middle East weren't a mess and a disaster. You don't get large, successful fascist projects springing up in healthy, whole societies, or even basically stable societies; you only get tiny factions of nasty violent cranks. Saying "ISIS wouldn't exist if it weren't for imperialism" has nothing to do with saying "Individual ISIS members are innocent misunderstood victims who don't really believe their beliefs".
posted by Frowner at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


While the material structure matters, none of the violence launched by Daesh abroad would exist without ideology.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:23 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


These attacks might have an effect on upcoming EU talks with Turkey to make a deal on the refugee crisis. Turkey wants the EU to take an additional few hundred thousand refugees off of their hands, as well as loosen visa requirements inside the EU for Turkish nationals. Even if the attackers prove to be locals, this might be a politically difficult sell to Europeans, given Turkey's porous border with Syria. I hope not, because if the EU pulls away from Turkey they will pull closer to Russia and the Middle East.

Kerry is in Vienna today for Syria talks, Obama and others are in Turkey for G-20 talks today (Hollande canceled) and no doubt Syria will dominate the conversation there too. These attacks seem to be deliberately (suspiciously) timed.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:24 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


It also means that the West must stop meddling and intervening because this is just the beginning of blowback.

Sadly, I don't think anyone is listening.
posted by sneebler at 8:26 AM on November 14, 2015


Uh their statement explicitly blames western imperialism.
posted by ead at 8:26 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I spent the day on the phone with friends in Paris (thankfully, everyone is safe). Their reaction is unanimous: this is going to lead to Presidente Le Pen, and in many ways that's scarier than ISIS.

Tomorrow I'm taking a train to the heart of Le Pen country in Southern France. Wondering what kind of mood I'm going to find ...
posted by fuzz at 8:28 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


France's election isn't until the spring of 2017 though, right? That's a lot of time.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2015


Yeah, I mean, you guys remember a fella named GW Bush, right? Invaded Iraq, disbanded the army and left a lot of Sunni military folks unemployed, marginalized and disenfranchised by their government, and pissed off about it? This is extremely relevant to the current situation, and can be directly traced to Western intervention in the last decade and a half.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


There may be another incident happening now - Daily Mail first reported it, but it seems to be confirmed. IBTimes:
Police on the outskirts of Paris are reportedly chasing a vehicle containing four "heavily armed men" who allegedly drove straight through a motorway toll road that leads into Paris. French police are chasing a Citroën Berlingo after it smashed its way through a barrier on a main highway in the Ablis area of Yvelines in northwest France around noon, local time, the British tabloid the Daily Mail reported.

The town, which is approximately 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the center of Paris, comes as police and citizens in France's capital assess the destruction after a night of deadly and coordinated attacks in the city. The French daily newspaper Le Perisien also confirmed the chase.
posted by rosswald at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2015


Military responses to terror attacks are what gave rise to Daesh in the first place.
---
While the material structure matters, none of the violence launched by Daesh abroad would exist without ideology.


In the long run Wahabbism needs to be uprooted, and that is going to need some more invading and re-educating. It is a cancer on Islam and the world. The West has plenty of blood on its hands, but so long as this ideology has any credence in the ME we will be dealing with this barbarism.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2015


Daesh aren't Wahhabi's but I get your point.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:31 AM on November 14, 2015


You don't get large, successful fascist projects springing up in healthy, whole societies, or even basically stable societies; you only get tiny factions of nasty violent cranks.

You can easily turn that around and say that you don't get healthy, whole, stable societies in the presence of large organized violent totalitarian groups. Which way around is it? It's a self-reinforcing feedback loop with fuzzy origins, as usual.

But you seem to completely overlook the power of fundamentalist religion, and I'm curious why. "ISIS wouldn't exist if not for Wahhabism" is probably just as true as "ISIS wouldn't exist if not for imperialism."
posted by tempythethird at 8:34 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again: The point of these attacks is to turn moderates into extremists. Extremists know that they'll never get what they want so long as moderates are in place to stop them from reaching the extreme.

So, they make these horrific attacks, hoping for an extreme response, which pushes moderates on both sides to the extreme. Repeat until everything is black and white. Then, of course, it becomes red.

They cannot survive if they are the only extremists. They need to push the extreme to others, or they will fall.

The correct answer will be to use the police, to root out the support network, try them fairly, and punish those guilty by law, while disrupting future attacks and closing down the supply line that supported those attacks. There cannot be (by definition) an infinite stream of people willing to die for a cause. If you stay moderate, you eliminate the extremists increasing, and they eliminate themselves.

The answer that will probably happen is war, because people are stupid. This will make more extremists, and thus, more attacks -- both like this, and by people at home attacking "those people" in revenge.

And if France decides on war? Don't believe that "cheese eating surrender monkey" bullshit. France is deadly serious about war. They won't hesitate at all. If they decide to go, lots of people will die. The French anthem is an explicit call to war.
 Aux armes, citoyens,	To arms, citizens,
Formez vos bataillons,	Form your battalions,
 Marchons, marchons !	Let's march, let's march!
Qu'un sang impur	Let an impure blood
Abreuve nos sillons !   Water our furrows!
I pray for rationality and restraint. I pray for civilization to triumph over chaos.

But I'm not fading that bet.
posted by eriko at 8:36 AM on November 14, 2015 [39 favorites]


- Poland says it cannot accept migrants under EU quotas, following attacks in Paris

- Presumably they were being asked to take French migrants, since the only attacker so far identified was French just like the Hebdo killers.


Yeah actually... seems we all spoke too soon on that:
#BREAKING: Holder of Syrian passport found at scene of Paris attack passed through Greece in October: Greek officials #ParisAttacks


Announcement of #Greece's AltMinister Citizens Protection on the #ParisAttacks.
"The passport holder had passed by Leros on 3/10/2015, where he was identified based on the EU rules, as these were established on the Summit Meeting about the refugee issue"

This is just... merde. Brace yourselves now.
posted by bitteschoen at 8:37 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]




You can easily turn that around and say that you don't get healthy, whole, stable societies in the presence of large organized violent totalitarian groups. Which way around is it? It's a self-reinforcing feedback loop with fuzzy origins, as usual.

Yes but in this case we know the chicken came first because we literally watched the US fuck with (and fuck over) the Middle East over and over and over in the two thirds of a century since the CIA was founded.
posted by Talez at 8:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The attackers may have been 15 years old? I don't know why, but this is the point at which I just despair for us all. 15 years old.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


But you seem to completely overlook the power of fundamentalist religion, and I'm curious why. "ISIS wouldn't exist if not for Wahhabism" is probably just as true as "ISIS wouldn't exist if not for imperialism."

Kyrgyzstan was pretty light in its Islam right up until the Saudis started funding Mosques in every little village starting in the 2000s. Now you go there and there are women in hijab and niqab, totally contrary to local custom. There are huge contingents of Tajiks and Uzbeks fighting with Daesh, and their homelands have not been bombed by the West. The youth are being radicalized by Wahhabi scholars from the Gulf, this is happening throughout Central Asia.

Saying that Daesh is not Wahabbist is a little rich, the Caliphate in Iraq/Syria is their dream made real.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


I hope no one is drawing a false equivalence between various failed Middle East policies and this sort of attack. Even the most misguided war has an aim of "our troops will beat their troops, and then ???". Randomly attacking random people in a shopping and restaurant district *on purpose* is way worse in intent than anything GWB did, and I say that as someone who protested the Iraq war in the streets and hates the war's architects with the fire of a thousand suns. Half those people could have been folks sitting and talking about the plight of ME refugees and what they could do to help. ISIS is a bunch of hooligans with a dumb made-up ideology that sounds like a B grade video game. Frankly as an atheist, it's hard for me to grasp most religious ideologies even if they are moderate, but the idea of having a "Caliphate" that's a religious theme park full of female slaves, beheadings, and destruction of anything meaningful created by anyone else is just fucking dumb and evil. I think "these guys have suffered in the past therefore this is totally predictable" is giving them way too much credit. Basically it's testosterone-laden assholes who are fantasizing they can indulge every whim and god will somehow reward them. Surprise assholes! There's no heaven! Awwwwww.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:50 AM on November 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


Terrorist attack happens.
"We must step up security! Here, take everyone's data & prevent this!!"
(CIA spends all its time & energy Assassinating random warlords rather than gathering intelligence)
Another attack happens.
"Shit. I guess...Install a camera in my bathroom next? Don't understand why this isn't working."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:51 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Regarding those injured:

80 in life threatening condition
177 "somewhat critical"
43 others admitted
53 discharged
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:52 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


15 years old? It's known that 'radicalisation' reaches disaffected teenage males most easily. Notoriously, they often know little about Islam when they start to get involved. France has been particularly effective at creating the social conditions for these guys to fuck up.
posted by colie at 8:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


…over and over in the two thirds of a century since the CIA was founded.

In my mind's eye, the mention of mid-East and CIA together always brings back the picture of the head of the CIA walking hand-in-hand with a sheik. Bush and Abdullah, BFFs.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:54 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]




.

There is no city I can think of that better symbolizes "lust for life" than Paris - the joy of eating great food, of dancing late into the night, of endless champagne, of deep and profound and muscular thinking and philosophy, of carving out new ways of writing and perfecting old ones, of channeling the beauty of life into art, of loving each other. These things are anathema to an ideology that sanctifies violence, rape, and murder.

My favorite memory of Paris is walking along the Seine on the Ile de Citie side with someone I loved after a meal of perfectly roasted chicken accompanied by glasses upon glasses of champagne, and hearing Elvis crooning, quiet at first but then louder and louder, until we came upon a group of fifty or sixty people dressed in leather jackets and poodle skirts attending an "American themed dance night."
posted by sallybrown at 9:00 AM on November 14, 2015 [40 favorites]


Not surprising given the area where most of the attacks occurred (The Guardian):
AFP report that two Tunisian sisters aged 34 and 35 have been identified as victims in last night’s attack in Paris. According to the “provisional death toll, at least two Tunisians have been killed,” said the Tunisian minister for foreign affairs, Naoufel Laabidi. Radio station Mosaïque FM report that the sisters were celebrating a friend’s birthday on Friday evening when the attack took place.
posted by nangar at 9:01 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not surprising given the area where most of the attacks occurred

What?
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:03 AM on November 14, 2015


Apparently there are a number of people in Brussels now being arrested in connection with the Paris attack.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:04 AM on November 14, 2015


Statement from UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:
We have to send our support and our sympathy to all the people of Paris. They are, like London, like so many cities around the world, vibrant, multi-faith, multi-cultural societies. This is an attack on all of us who stand for the kind of fair and inclusive societies we want to live in.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


My wife and I had our "Paris moment" at a restaurant that, as it turns out, is a short walk away from the areas where most of the attacks occurred. It was a gorgeous, vibrant neighbourhood, and it makes me sad to think of the joyous atmosphere we enjoyed that night being shattered by evil like this.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:07 AM on November 14, 2015


James Adomian ‏@JAdomian 3m3 minutes ago

A terrible tragedy. Let's put a bunch of security state guys on TV to shape the narrative unchallenged and openly demand more power.
posted by Trochanter at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


After Paris Attacks, Don't Close Doors to Refugees – Open Them: It will take a very long time to make a difference – generations. But if we want a world where terrorists can no longer recruit young people to give their lives to senseless murder, we have to show that the United States is not their enemy. Welcoming those fleeing terror is a critical first step. And rejecting refugees won't keep terrorists determined to attack us from finding a way in.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2015 [27 favorites]


Murdoch's Sky News are now referring to Corbyn as 'Jihadi Jez.'
posted by colie at 9:10 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]




[Couple comments removed. Just as a general thing, there's no way for this not to be a shocking and terrible situation, but it's both understandably easy and a really bad idea to let that feed into sort of needlessly escalating arguments that are going to make this thread a lot worse than it has to be. I'm sorry this is such a distressing thing happening, but let's try to be decent to each other and not just get into arguments because they're there and we're stressed or worried or angry.]
posted by cortex at 9:19 AM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Yes but in this case we know the chicken came first because we literally watched the US fuck with (and fuck over) the Middle East over and over and over in the two thirds of a century since the CIA was founded.

The bulk of direct American meddling was in Iraq and Iran. The Iraq disaster eventually gave birth to ISIS. The Iran disaster gave birth to an (absolutely understandable) America/West loathing fundamentalist regime, but which, compared to ISIS, appears perfectly reasonable and liberal. It is certainly not bent on generalized mass slaughter and brutality.

America also did terrible things in South America and let's not forget Southeast Asia. And yet how many expansionist apocalyptic fundamentalist cults arose in those areas because of American destabilization?
posted by tempythethird at 9:19 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


#BREAKING: Holder of Syrian passport found at scene of Paris attack passed through Greece in October

IS apparently really hates the ideas of Syrians leaving for the "abode of the unbelievers" as they call Europe. It would make sense for them to send someone through Greece and make sure their passport was found to turn public opinion against the refugees and try to destroy the Schengen Agreement permitting free travel in the EU, which is already under tremendous pressure due to the flood of migrants.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:20 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's a mythical sky god that thinks we're the chosen people and wants us to ... kill people

That was Bush's line actually.
posted by colie at 9:21 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Le Monde got confirmation from a police source that they arrested members of a Belgian cell.
posted by Tobu at 9:34 AM on November 14, 2015


#BREAKING: Holder of Syrian passport found at scene of Paris attack passed through Greece in October

Huh, maybe I need to recheck my tinfoil hat, but who takes their passport along on a suicide mission - unless they want their identity to be quickly and easily verified?
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:37 AM on November 14, 2015 [22 favorites]


You have answered your own question. Someone who wants to be identified.
posted by Justinian at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huh, maybe I need to recheck my tinfoil hat, but who takes their passport along on a suicide mission - unless they want their identity to be quickly and easily verified?

Someone whose primary purpose is to cast suspicion on tens of thousands of largely blameless refugees, fleeing people just like that passport holder.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [21 favorites]


Might have carried it on the way to his destination as a means to ensure he didn't find himself detained for not having the appropriate papers.
posted by Atreides at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Are they sure the passport belongs to an attacker and not a victim? I'm reminded of the stolen passport debacle with MH370 where there were 2 passports stolen by Iranians on the flight that was initially assumed to be ZOMG TERRORIST but then turned out to be "desperate asylum seeker".
posted by divabat at 9:40 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]




tempythethird is exactly right. the relationship between great power meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and terrorist attacks is not monotonic--the US intervened violently in latin america more than any other place. Even among the Middle East, the US's effects are most strongly felt in Iran and Palestine--but there are almost no terrorist attacks by Palestinians or Iranians against the West.

Think about it: parts of Palestine are an open-air prison because of US support, but no one from Palestine has committed terrorism on Western soil (that I can think of offhand).

So what, exactly, is going on? Its not just grievances--there are plenty of people who have grievances against the West and do not attack the West. Its not opportunity--ditto. Motive? Ideological justification? the ability to garner substantial political benefit?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:42 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]




Note also that there is a brisk trade in fake Syrian documents, even for those who are legitimately Syrian (it's often easier to replace a lost/stolen document with a fake). Reportedly there are DNA tests underway to try to get a positive ID.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


US kills leader of ISIS in Libya.
posted by valkane at 9:55 AM on November 14, 2015


“Paris Attacks Highlight Western Vulnerability, And Our Selective Grief And Outrage,” Chris Graham, New Matilda, 14 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


> So what, exactly, is going on? Its not just grievances--there are plenty of people who have grievances against the West and do not attack the West. Its not opportunity--ditto. Motive? Ideological justification? the ability to garner substantial political benefit?

I think you forgot about the "Means" part of the equation, which many people argue is the potential Saudi Arabian influence (financial or otherwise) on ISIS and/or Islamist extremism in the Middle East.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2015


America also did terrible things in South America and let's not forget Southeast Asia. And yet how many expansionist apocalyptic fundamentalist cults arose in those areas because of American destabilization?

Uhhhh... We kind of got the War on Drugs in South America and Indonesian muslim extremists haven't exactly been little angels sitting on their hands.
posted by Talez at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


So what, exactly, is going on?

Maybe a part of it is pissed off young men who have a lot of time on their hands and that get into materials/people that radicalize them. And then they have relatively easy access to weapons, training, and other resources for an attack.

And, yes, I know this sounds a little like the cause of the US mass shooting epidemic too.
posted by FJT at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Think about it: parts of Palestine are an open-air prison because of US support, but no one from Palestine has committed terrorism on Western soil (that I can think of offhand).

You may want to do a little research on that one. There were pretty significant Palestinian terrorist attacks on the West and Western targets. For example they have hijacked Pan Am, TWA and Swiss Air flights. They performed an attack at the Munich Olympics on Israeli athletes.

Terrorism feels new but it isn't really.
posted by srboisvert at 10:07 AM on November 14, 2015 [23 favorites]


As a Londoner I can also confirm that terrorism is nothing new - there were scores (hundreds?) of IRA events and deaths in the 70s.
posted by colie at 10:15 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


but no one from Palestine has committed terrorism on Western soil (that I can think of offhand).
posted by MisantropicPainforest


Wow, really?
Sirhan Sirhan - a Palestinian of Jordanian citizenship who was convicted of the 1968 assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Munich massacre - The Munich massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, on eleven Israeli Olympic team members, who were taken hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian group Black September.

1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack - The 1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack, which was carried out by armed Palestinian militants at the entrance to the Great Synagogue of Rome, took place on 9 October 1982 at 11:55 a.m. A 2-year-old toddler, Stefano Gaj Taché, was killed in the attack, while 37 civilians were injured.

Mohammed A. Salameh - is a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. He is currently an inmate at ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado.
And this is by no means a comprehensive list.
posted by rosswald at 10:15 AM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Look, the year after I graduated high school, students from my erstwhile school, chain whipped the West High School pep club en masse. The stakes are a little higher these days with adults waving religious tracts and offering heavenly rewards that don't add up to making bricks, or driving cab. The abuses boys endure in certain madrassas leave them with no horizon only heavenly exit strategies.

The west practices semi-comfortable, and for some, posh civilization all tied up with immeasurable red tape and posturing, but acts out abroad, outrageously, largely out of view of ordinary citizens pap fed. But with the information available our sins are enormous and ongoing, collusively trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

The use of children in warfare and the mental illness inherent in religio-warfare is the hideous crime of factions in the Ummah. The slaughter of children as collateral to management practices of the oil and opiate industries, is the west's crime.

I want to see everyone get their state and stake in the Middle East, out from under the wolves of every color and texture that want it otherwise. I want the government to no longer support or arm Saudi. I want to see them become a pariah state. Terrorism is a PR concept to describe war on a shoestring.

I want to see the juggernaut to Middle Eastern peace on the road again. Chop chop. Let's see, where were we? Oh yes, the EU was OKing the boycott of Israeli goods. Palestine is gainimg ground on state hood. The Kurds are fighting and gaining their territory. The Yazidi are fighting for themselves. Iran is back in the world making strides to meld and assert for the Shia populations of the ME. It is going to get uglier and it behooves us to discern the anti-players.

I think our president, and I am am American stating this, has been wisely still and we should practice more of it. The game is the death of the oil industry, the reality is the natural reordering of the ME without the oil money. The explosion happened the pieces need to fall in the right places. It is like lions at dinner, everyone in the pride gets a piece.

The reprehensible acts in Paris, the murders of citizens, and the murders of the children who committed murder, by their handlers ; these are acts of madness. But, this is a cloying, cunning madness; this strategy to undermine the process of peace.
posted by Oyéah at 10:20 AM on November 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


NBC: Paris Prosecutor says they have begun to identify killers. Looking for 2 cars, accomplices.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:24 AM on November 14, 2015


Terrorism is certainly not new, but not all terrorism is the same. It's a tactic that can be employed for various goals, including simply asymmetrical warfare.

Palestinian (Hamas) and Lebanese (Hizbullah) terrorist attacks were more often than not aimed at their enemies and not the West as a whole, and were usually framed as retribution and resistance. In fact, although Hamas is less than united and coherent, they have at various times explicitly said that the West as a whole and even Jews are not their enemy. They have certainly never said that their enemy is everyone they consider an "infidel". When they did attack Western targets, typically it was blowback for real or perceived Western support of their enemies.

The Paris attacks are framed as intentional provocation and religiously-justified righteous slaughter of the unbelievers. Terrorism in service of these goals is new-ish and alarming.
posted by tempythethird at 10:25 AM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


A group of anti-Muslim protestors tried to join a memorial service in Lille France. It didn't go well for them.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:32 AM on November 14, 2015 [12 favorites]




Potomic - something is very wrong with that daily motion link. It crashes two of my browsers.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2015


Ugh sorry. Works for me. Here's a another view of the crowd clashing with the protestors, chanting FASCISTS OUT.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The link works for me, AGameOfMoans.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:52 AM on November 14, 2015


Here's the video on YouTube. Can't stop watching it, it's like everything I wish would happen in politics ever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


the 21st century is going to be an unremitting nightmare


As opposed to the 20th, which was unrelentingly idyllic.
posted by meehawl at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [29 favorites]


Suggestions that both the vanue Bataclan and the band Eagles of Death Metal may have been carefully targeted for more reasons than stated in the IS statement:

Bataclan theatre at centre of Paris terrorist attacks may have been targeted due to its "Jewish owners"
It has been suggested by French magazine Le Point that The Bataclan theatre may have been targeted’ due to its Jewish owners. The Eagles of Death rock band, playing there last night, had recently toured Israel despite calls for the boycott the country as part of the BDS movement.
Was the Bataclan targeted for Jewish ownership and support for Israel?
Band headlining concert on Friday had been criticized for playing Israel concert in July

The threats against the Bataclan go back several years, with the venue often being a target of anti-Zionist groups. In 2007 and 2008, the theater received threats from radical groups due to its regular hosting of the conferences and galas of Jewish organizations, including one for the Israeli border police.
The Eagles of Death Metal, the band headlining at the Bataclan on the night of the deadly attacks, were criticized earlier in the year for playing a concert in Tel Aviv. Speaking to the crowd in Tel Aviv, lead singer Jesse Hughes addressed the controversy, saying: "I would never boycott a place like this."

(just to pick two random sources found via a search on google news in English - I actually came across this on twitter through a link to an article recapping all this in the German taz mentioning several reports in Israeli media)
posted by bitteschoen at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


> There is no city I can think of that better symbolizes "lust for life" than Paris - the joy of eating great food, of dancing late into the night, of endless champagne, of deep and profound and muscular thinking and philosophy, of carving out new ways of writing and perfecting old ones, of channeling the beauty of life into art

How many people in Paris get to live that way, though? Isn't some of the problem (in general, I haven't followed the news today and don't know the specifics) that so many people are living lives of poverty and boredom?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


To be clear, I don't mean to say anything bad about your memories -- that sounds lovely.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:59 AM on November 14, 2015


I've had a couple of nice nights out in Paris too but there's definitely no endless champagne in Seine-Saint-Denis.
posted by colie at 11:03 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


#BREAKING: Holder of Syrian passport found at scene of Paris attack passed through Greece in October

Ease of faking a passport to a nation that's on the verge of collapse? Very.

Just because the attacker has one doesn't mean it was validly issued. It could just as easily be he wanted to be identified as Syrian so that Syria would suffer more. Or maybe he was Syrian. But for now? Assuming the presence of a passport means it is valid? Nope -- esp. one on somebody who's already proven they flat out have no regard for the rule of law.

And, you know -- that report says "BREAKING" which in English means "PROBABLY WRONG."

We are coming on 24 hours after the attacks. That means only about 50% of the BREAKING news you hear will turn out to be absolutely wrong or unrelated or simply misinterpreted (like the Eiffel Tower going dark, you know, like it does every night*.)

So -- keep calm, assume nothing until it's been out for a while, and always be suspect of any news report that starts with the word BREAKING.


* However, today, come sundown, the Tower will not light up. This one is intentional and meant as a memorial. Last night, however, it went dark at 0100 -- because the timer said 'Turn off the lights' like it does every night at 0100 outside of summer.
posted by eriko at 11:05 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, and I would suggest not using this symbol as a symbol of support. I don't know if the artist intended it, but using a symbol with the Christian Cross? It's religion that got us into this mess, stop throwing gasoline into it.

Might as well just go ahead an mention a crusade while you're doing it.
posted by eriko at 11:17 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think that's supposed to be a peace sign with the Eiffel Tower in the center? I don't see a Christian cross there, for what it's worth.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:18 AM on November 14, 2015 [54 favorites]


Given that the terrorists weren't aware that you couldn't just stroll into a football stadium wearing a bomb vests I'd be pretty surprised if they did the research to find a Jewish owned venue or a band with Israel ties. But who knows at the moment.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:20 AM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think that's supposed to be a peace sign with the Eiffel Tower in the center? I don't see a Christian cross there, for what it's worth.

It's there if you look for it (at the bottom, as if it's at the base of the tower), but I'm 99% positive that it's an unintentional side effect of combining the traditional peace sign with an outline of the Eiffel Tower. I'll note that once you see it, you can't unsee it. But again, I'm almost 100% certain it wasn't intentional.

I suppose it could be "fixed" without adversely affecting the combination of the two elements by removing what would be the top part of the cross (if it WERE a cross), but . . . we're getting sidetracked here, I think . . .
posted by CommonSense at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


i didn't think so either, but if you look at the acutal pic of the Tower, the horizontal "crossbeam" isn't there.
don't know if this "cross" was created intentionally, or if it's coincidental/accidental, but I see where eriko is coming from.
posted by bitteroldman at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2015


and again commonsense prevails over the ramblings over a bitteroldman
posted by bitteroldman at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The two lines across are supposed to be the landings. The vertical line is from the original peace sign.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I really think this is a reading of a symbol which isn't there. That's pretty clearly the landings of the Eiffel Tower overlaid on the existing peace symbol.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:29 AM on November 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


That is a 3/4 view of the tower inset into a circle to mimic the peace symbol. If you actually look instead of looking for things to fret about, you will see there are in fact TWO cross beams in that logo; 1st level and 2nd level of the tower.
posted by rr at 11:29 AM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Just because the attacker has one doesn't mean it was validly issued. It could just as easily be he wanted to be identified as Syrian so that Syria would suffer more. Or maybe he was Syrian. But for now? Assuming the presence of a passport means it is valid? Nope -- esp. one on somebody who's already proven they flat out have no regard for the rule of law.

Those who would use the discovery of the Syrian passport for political gain will be happy with either interpretation of its validity. It does not matter to their arguments whether the so–claimed sleeper terrorists are genuinely Syrian or not, but it would delight them immensely for authorities to admit that they cannot definitely identify Syrian nationals.
posted by Emma May Smith at 11:30 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't see a Christian cross there, for what it's worth.

The horizontal crossbar, the vertical crossing it. The proportions are even right. You can see that's exactly how it was drawn -- left arc, right arc, horizontal, vertical.

You may not see it. People attuned to seeing the cross for whatever reason will see it almost instantly.

Note: I am not stating the artist did this intentionally. There are many logos that had messages the creator didn't see when they created it. Normally, we just laugh at those logos. But in a conflict that is explicitly being presented as "Islam vs. the world", flying the cross is feeding right into the propaganda they're selling at home as to why you need to join them. Normally, you show this two a few people, you spot the issue, fix it and it's fine. But this artist just drew it and posted it.

You take out that vertical bar, the problem disappears.
posted by eriko at 11:31 AM on November 14, 2015


Or you could be like, "it's not a cross" and move on.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:32 AM on November 14, 2015 [41 favorites]


Not seeing cross.
posted by parki at 11:35 AM on November 14, 2015


You take out that vertical bar, the problem disappears.

It's also no longer a peace symbol if you do that. The effect is accidental.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:39 AM on November 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seeing cross-eyed from too close a focus.
posted by y2karl at 11:40 AM on November 14, 2015


Can we please just let the bloody imaginary iconography go? In light of everything that has happened it seems almost disrespectful as a derail. :(
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:41 AM on November 14, 2015 [40 favorites]


And, you know -- that report says "BREAKING" which in English means "PROBABLY WRONG."
...always be suspect of any news report that starts with the word BREAKING.


It depends, that's a fair enough point in general, but in this case, I only posted that link/tweet after double checking the sources and they were reputable reporters - one of them citing the Greek ministry - and it was being reported elsewhere too. By now the Paris prosecutor confirmed it and it has been all over the news:
[Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins] also said a Syrian passport, belonging to a man born in 1990 who was not known to the French authorities, had been found lying close by the bodies of two other jihadis, who both blew themselves up in the course of their attacks.

Greece’s citizen protection minister, Nikos Toskas, said earlier that that the passport’s owner had entered the European Union through the Greek island of Leros on 3 October, adding: “We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder likely passed.”
(for what it's worth, maybe it's just my own lucky/targeted usage of twitter purely for following news but I'm actually seeing a rather cautious use of the "breaking" tag, at least, from that kind of reputable news sources and reporters)
posted by bitteschoen at 11:43 AM on November 14, 2015


[Comment removed, let's drop the "is there a cross or not" thing at this point.]
posted by cortex at 11:49 AM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Guardian's reporting that three young staff members of the band that was playing at the Bataclan were killed in the attack.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:51 AM on November 14, 2015


It absolutely could be handled as a criminal case.

Right now, it looks like it is. The statements we are hearing from French officials are from prosecutors and the police.

In the future we may be hearing from the intelligence community in France, and the executive branch about military actions and military investigations, but that's not occurring right now.

Right now it appears as if the matter is being handled as a police matter (obviously the [global] intelligence community is also involved in the investigation).
posted by el io at 12:00 PM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Daesh's strategic position is very different from what it was even a month or so ago. Putin, with his willingness to kill indiscriminately, fully partner with the Iranians, and lack of need to kowtow to Erdogan or the Gulf monarchs, is a VERY different lead European opponent to the US and western Europeans who have been supporting the fight heretofore. Daesh needs to rally as much of the other rebels under their flag as they can, and maybe attacks like this will do it.

Also, they aren't crazy to gamble that anyone in the West will have the stomach of the fight if Daesh's attacks can continue to be repeated. It's one thing to bear an isolated train / subway attack like Madrid and London, it's quite another if Daesh can mount 100+ death attacks continually (and this is #2, after the Russian airplane bombing).
posted by MattD at 12:02 PM on November 14, 2015


MattD: About 70 years ago a different fascist regime attempted to continually bomb London civilians. That strategy did not work out well for that fascist regime then and likely will not work out well for this one.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 12:06 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


U2, Foo Fighters cancel Paris gigs.
posted by chavenet at 12:17 PM on November 14, 2015


My comment was a no doubt misguided attempt at metacommunication which is of no never mind.

I have followed the news split between France24 being run all night on MHZ, Euronews thereon and here. The best was the wordless No Comment on Euronews which was a montage of videos of people in Paris at the street shrines. Best as in most moving.

I have seen grief, anger, opiniation and corrections of all the above in this thread. People being human, in other words. I have no blame for anyone here for being so.

And forgive me if this a redundancy but NPR just reported Yezidi fighters coming across mass graves of elderly women near villages they have wrest back from ISIS. Which they are preserving for later documentation of war crime prosecutions.

The elephant in this room is Death.
posted by y2karl at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


MattD: About 70 years ago a different fascist regime attempted to continually bomb London civilians. That strategy did not work out well for that fascist regime then and likely will not work out well for this one

Well, something on the order of 3% of the human population perished because of the war started by that fascist requiem, so I don't think that's a very optimistic metaphor.
posted by sideshow at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Right now it appears as if the matter is being handled as a police matter (obviously the [global] intelligence community is also involved in the investigation).

Yes of course they are also coordinating with all police and intelligence services in the rest of Europe, especially bordering countries (for instance, I heard the Italian Interior Minister earlier speak to the press about the coordinated efforts with France).

Is this noteworthy in any way? Terrorism on national territory in Europe has always been a police matter, it's within the responsibilities of the whole apparatus of Interior Ministers. Who else? There is no other option, there is no other government body to handle this.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:23 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


About 70 years ago a different fascist regime attempted to continually bomb London civilians. That strategy did not work out well for that fascist regime then and likely will not work out well for this one.

On the flip side, the Tet Offensive, which included terror attacks against civilians, while militarily a defeat for the North Vietnamese and which spelled the end of the Viet Cong, resulted in a publicity coup for the Communist Vietnamese and was a key factor in expelling the US from the country.
posted by dazed_one at 12:38 PM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


U2, Foo Fighters cancel Paris gigs.

Well, they don't have much choice in the matter. The borders are closed.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:41 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's some bleak humour at least in that Bono has declared that IS have now attacked music.
posted by colie at 12:45 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The borders are closed.

No, they're not, they just reintroduced ID checks at the borders, suspending Schengen. No border is actually closed. As to U2, the are in Paris, just laid a wreath at the Bataclan.
posted by susuman at 12:46 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am heartbroken.

But I am hoping this results in a lot more than police action -- I hope France joins in a concerted international effort to take back all of ISIS' territory and hence destroy the caliphate. Wiping out terrorism is impossible but it is ISIS' control of territory that gives it the ability to claim a caliphate, recruit widely, and launch coordinated militarized attacks like this one. In addition, the murders, torture, sexual assault and exterminations ISIS is carrying out on its own territory would at last end.
posted by bearwife at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"...resulted in a publicity coup for the Communist Vietnamese and was a key factor in expelling the US from the country."

Yup and when Lam Son 719 was launched, it was the death knell for ARVN.
posted by clavdivs at 1:02 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


U2, Foo Fighters cancel Paris gigs.

Well, they don't have much choice in the matter. The borders are closed.

No border is actually closed. As to U2, the are in Paris, just laid a wreath at the Bataclan.

They say it wasn't their decision but a decision of the French authorities:
“We didn’t call it off,” Bono said. “It was canceled, honest, and I understand perfectly why … It’s up to the French authorities and the city to decide when we can go back.”
Foo Fighters canceled not just Paris but all remaining dates of the European tour, so it may sound like their decision but they do use the wording "we have been forced" and do mention the "closing of borders" -
"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt concern for everyone in Paris that we have been forced to announce the cancellation of the rest of our tour. In light of this senseless violence, the closing of borders, and international mourning, we can't continue right now. There is no other way to say it. This is crazy and it sucks. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt or who lost a loved one."
posted by bitteschoen at 1:11 PM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's some bleak humour at least in that Bono has declared that IS have now attacked music.

Bono is tone deaf in more ways than one.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


I know this sounds a little like the cause of the US mass shooting epidemic too.
One thing I thought about while overthinking this was how the 'disaffected' 'mentally unstable' young men (boys?) in Europe would be attracted to doing this kind of atrocity while in the U.S. we are much more addicted to the concept of 'individual action'. Which helped partially answer my ongoing question: "Why France? Why not the U.S. or England or even Russia?"

As for the "guy with the Syrian passport", how many of the Real Refugees had fully legitimate passports before being forced from their homes and took them with them? I'd guess 'not many'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:24 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Y'know, even if one or all of the killers in this case are bona fide refugees from Syria or elsewhere, it makes fuck-all difference to how Europe should manage the refugee crisis. Fuck Poland for walking back on its deal to take a share of the refugees, and fingers crossed that Merkel is wise enough to remain welcoming. An intelligent and compassionate approach to refugees will be a source of great strength for Europe, and the best defense against terrorist fuckwits there is.
posted by chavenet at 1:39 PM on November 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


The political posturing and backlash against the refugees has already started with the right wing Polish government declaring the attacks meant the EU’s compulsory system of quotas for sharing refugees was dead.
posted by adamvasco at 1:39 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's probably wise to cancel regardless of current border statuses and such given that we have no idea how things are going to look even a few days out, and it's a small kindness to not lead people on unintentionally. If something else were to happen in the next few days an even more severe clampdown might occur.
posted by neonrev at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline: ""Please, France, don't do what we did. Learn from our knee jerk bullshit."

I thought France already had more experience than the US does with terrorism? Didn't their colonies' wars for independence include a lot of terrorist attacks in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? I'd think that was recent enough for the people in power today to remember what it was like.
"

Sure, it is well remembered. Jacques Verges, a famous defense lawyer built a whole career defending the terrorists against French State, even comparing their action to what the resistance had done against the Nazis. So this kind of nuance is not absolutely new (he called this the rupture strategy : it was somehow a way to bring terrorism to the courtroom, and of course, it wasn't devoid of rationale). It could lead pretty far, though. The man defended Algerian terrorists, but also Khieu Samphan, Klaus Barbie, Carlos. He said : "I'd even defend Bush! But only if he agrees to plead guilty."
posted by nicolin at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Nick Alexander, the merch guy for Eagles of Death Metal, confirmed killed in the theater attack.
posted by TwoStride at 1:59 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]




Some video of gunfire exchange between the terrorists and police outside the Bataclan.

Standard awfulness warnings apply.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


From a post on Facebook last night by Jakko Jakszyk, currently touring in Canada with King Crimson:
Amazing crowd in Quebec.
Absolutely fantastic. Came off stage on a high.
Only to hear that Helen, the lovely lady who did our catering in September, had been shot in Paris. She was doing the catering at the Bataclan.
Her boyfriend died in her arms.
Senseless didnt begin to cover it
posted by Grangousier at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


@ FrayedKnot: thank you for your post! This puts in one handy place basically what my late mother who spent a little time as a journalist always told me, I am saving this because a certain number of my friends are right wing extremists. They are having an orgasm of vindication right now.
I'm going to copy and post these points as needed. I will let them say what they will for a couple days, then post this.
Every time there is a massive terrorist attack I brace myself for the damn near inevitable stupid reactions. I express solidarity in some way and let the people I am in touch with know that this does NOT represent my beliefs. Usually I put up something from a good source like ICNA. It's terrible.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:28 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


And yet how many expansionist apocalyptic fundamentalist cults arose in those areas because of American destabilization?

They weren't expansionist, but the Khmer Rouge was not all sweetness and light.
posted by raysmj at 5:50 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Poles demanding immigration end doesn't surprise me. The current government ran on that explicit platform. Of course, one of the reasons that the Torys run the UK is that people were tired of Poles "Stealing Jobs" so what's good for the goose, etc.

Hollande is either going heavy here, or he's getting tossed out in 2017. Sucks, but there it is. I'd love to see people be rational about this, but only a complete idiot bets on that. We destroyed our civil liberties after the NYC attacks, and I fully expect France to do the same. I would love to be wrong, but the rule I've learned is "bet on humans to do the wrong thing."

This could, in fact, shatter the EU. Then again, given how the EU has treated Greece, maybe that's a good thing. Then again, that would make the Torys claim they were right about the EU and that would suck.

Then again again, the end of the EU means that Spain, Italy and Greece can devalue and fix the stagnation that's destroying a generation. Then again again again, Germany would be fucked.
posted by eriko at 6:04 PM on November 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


TO your point eriko, I have a feeling that the open border principles in the EU might not survive this attack.
posted by RedShrek at 6:16 PM on November 14, 2015


Well there goes any possibility of visa-free travel for Muslim country passports in Europe.

There's some precedence: Canada used to offer visa-free travel for Malaysian citizens until the events of 9/11 and the Bali Bombing. Now there isn't even a Canadian embassy in Malaysia - you need to travel to Singapore to get the visa, which is a highly extensive affair. And right after the Boston bombing, the US Government temporarily declared that any international student returning to the US from time overseas will be automatically pulled aside for secondary questioning, because supposedly their systems haven't completely updated to check student status. The reasoning? A friend of the Boston marathon bombers was an international student dropout.

Malaysia and a bunch of other South East Asian countries really suffered after 9/11 by proxy, such as mass cancellations of events, even though they didn't have anything to do with 9/11 - it was purely "zomg Muslims" hysteria. (Hell even Singapore was affected and they're one of the safest countries ever.) And things are already terrible for poorer Muslim countries like Bangladesh or Afghanistan, who get shit on by everyone.

Immigration is going to get tougher not just for permanent migrants or refugees, but across the board, even tourists.
posted by divabat at 6:24 PM on November 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Now there isn't even a Canadian embassy in Malaysia - you need to travel to Singapore to get the visa, which is a highly extensive affair.

This is incorrect. There is a Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it just doesn't issue visas. The immigration section was removed because of downsizing, not fear of terrorism.
posted by dazed_one at 7:18 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Correction noted; however, the new regulation for visas to begin with - when prior to 2003 visas were not necessary for Malaysian citizens - is part of overall anti-Muslim immigration measures.
posted by divabat at 7:21 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seriously, people. We starting demanding passports from that noted hive of terroists known as Canada. It doesn't matter what diplomatic office is still in place, if a traveling citizen used to be able to get visas there and now has to travel to a separate country to get them? What that country is saying is "Don't even try."
posted by eriko at 7:33 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


People could never get Canadian visas in Malaysia; for a long time they weren't required, now they are and are available from the High Commission in Singapore, which has a fully staffed immigration section. While it is a pain in the ass, Singapore is 3-4 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.

This is less of a big deal than it is being made out to be - many Canadian High Commissions and Embassies around the world do not have full service immigration sections and require visas to be obtained at the nearest, larger Embassy/High Commission.

This is becoming a bit of a derail.
posted by dazed_one at 7:45 PM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Odd that, Ray. The Khmer Rouge is a French term. It's leaders were educated in Paris from funds of the King and France. As to the assertion that the U.S. spread the idealogical of the KR through its bombing and spying, there is that. But the country decended into a nightmare the French could not have percieved let alone the US or even China. And when Vietnam invaded and oversaw the country, the US supported the Kings faction which included, the Old elements of the Khmer Roughe and we were hardly the only ones to do so so it's difficult and though it's a coincidence, the Petit Cambodge I believe was the first target attacked.

It's complicated.
posted by clavdivs at 8:36 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Exclusive: Greece denies Reuters report on second suspected attacker (Guardian)

“We are unable, whatsoever, to confirm the existence of a second person who may have been involved in the attacks coming through Greece. Earlier we were given a serial number which was specific and which we could match. In this case we and other European countries were given a name. As an EU member state we did out best to match it but discovered there were four or five names that were very similar and so were unable to.”
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2015


[One comment deleted. The Khmer Rouge thing is getting to be a derail, and recounting the sins of France going back to the revolution tends to read as "they deserve it." Let's try to stay focused on news and updates about the current issues, please.]
posted by taz at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]




Charles Pierce article - basically: follow the money, we know where they are

To a large extent, I agree with him. We just need to remember that if/when the West turns it back on the Gulf, as it should, the Chinese are ready for business. And the defense of Israel becomes even more complicated.

But damn, it is offensive that those "princes" get away with funding international terror and war decade after decade
posted by mumimor at 1:11 AM on November 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hollande is either going heavy here, or he's getting tossed out in 2017

After the 2004 Madrid rail bombings, the Spanish threw out their pro-Bush, pro-Iraq war government.
posted by colie at 1:46 AM on November 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's a pretty big deal when you hold a passport from a Muslim country and find that with every new incident, immigration requirements become tighter and more painful. (a.k.a. my life) People forget that this is a major side effect of terrorism - or, more precisely, the Government's response to terrorism, which punishes the innocent in ways that really don't help anything.
posted by divabat at 1:59 AM on November 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


People forget that this is a major side effect of terrorism - or, more precisely, the Government's response to terrorism, which punishes the innocent in ways that really don't help anything.

Anything except the exact strategy of stealth Frowner describes above, that is.
posted by progosk at 2:16 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The connection between Turkey and ISIS is even substantial than the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS.

ISIS exports Syrian oil through Turkey and uses it as an entry-port for recruits. That doesn't seem to be happening with SA: SA wouldn't appreciate the competition with its oil, and it has never made it easy for foreigners to wander around the Kingdom. I am frankly amazed that Turkey's active-or-passive cooperation with ISIS has been tolerated for so long.

Fortunately, the West has a massive lever to use against Turkey: Turkey's membership of NATO. That's probably more valuable to Turkey than ever before, given that Russia is now more active in Syria and that even an ISIS-friendly regime is still potentially at risk from ISIS. In contrast, Turkey is only marginally valuable as a member of NATO: it is a member so that NATO can defend it, not the other way around. That value has mostly gone, particularly if Turkey is becoming a general liability.

What I'd like to see happen is official recognition of Turkey's role in this affair, and a suggestion that its membership in NATO will be reviewed. That might bring the country to its senses; at the worst, it will let us cut off a country that is frankly playing a spoiling role in the fight against terror.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:20 AM on November 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Profiles of the victims.
posted by divabat at 2:53 AM on November 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Anything except the exact strategy of stealth Frowner describes above, that is.

"You're either with us, or against us."

Deliberate polarization of populations, to enable domination and rule by fear.
posted by polymodus at 3:11 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


so last night we had a party for over 1000 ppl and one of the security guys was chatting to me when I stepped out back for a smoke. Said Paris had made them up their game for this private party even. we were ringed by hyper alert men in black. I was escorted to the street until we found a cab. Life is already changing.
posted by infini at 3:28 AM on November 15, 2015


Just noticed Theresa May now uses "Daesh", is this new? Would be interesting to tally up who uses what; In the BBC dispute David Cameron seemed to lean towards "Isil", Labour shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn uses "Daesh/Isil", whereas George Osborne is sticking to "IS".
posted by progosk at 3:29 AM on November 15, 2015


Progosk: From what I understand the people who insist on using Daesh rather than Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL are doing it as some attempt to separate it from Islam/Islamic. Or, they claim that the group hates being referred to by the term.

Problem is, there's literally no difference. Daesh is the Arabic acronym equivalent to ISIS/ISIL, and therefore contains 'Islamic State' in Arabic too. Also, not to mention that Isis is an Egyptian goddess which I doubt they'd approve of being related to.
posted by turnips at 3:39 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




turnips, it's more nuanced than that.
posted by progosk at 4:20 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The point still stands that the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh acronyms are equivalent in content. Regardless of how they try to frame it as a matter of impartiality, importance of wording, etc, they're still referring to the exact same term, just in different languages. Quibbling over the terminology to me just seems to take the focus off of the main problem.
posted by turnips at 4:32 AM on November 15, 2015


It seems like there is an important hearts-and-minds difference between a name that's pejorative-sounding in Arabic and one that's not.
posted by Miko at 4:58 AM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Problem is, there's literally no difference. Daesh is the Arabic acronym equivalent to ISIS/ISIL, and therefore contains 'Islamic State' in Arabic too. Also, not to mention that Isis is an Egyptian goddess which I doubt they'd approve of being related to.

There is also the theory that the English name which Mossad gave itself was "Israeli State Intelligence Service" (Mossad just means "the institution" in Hebrew). Whether this was a co-incidence or a deliberate act by anybody is a question debated on various sites I consider too shady to link to.
posted by rongorongo at 5:09 AM on November 15, 2015


[A couple of comments deleted. Folks, it's a terrible situation and a tough thread to try to manage, please make the effort to avoid casual squabbling, sarcasm, one-liners, and unnecessary derails. Twitter might be a good release valve for that kind of thing, but we're struggling to keep things on track here.]
posted by taz at 5:28 AM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


For anyone interested in following the story of the Syrian passport, there is a good analysis in the Guardian on the facts ascertained so far (traveled through Greece, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary), possibilities (that it may be stolen, forged, or even belong to a bystander) and political implications on the issues of border and refugees - and it does touch on the question itself "why would a suicide attacker bring his passport with him".
Apparently ISIS hates that people leave Syria for Europe and hates that refugees would be welcome there:
One theory is that Isis hopes to turn Europe against Syrian refugees. This would reinforce the idea of unresolvable divisions between east and west, and Christians and Muslims, and so persuade Syrians that Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate is their best hope of protection. “You know what pissed off Islamist extremists the most about Europe?” summarised Iyad El-Baghdadi, an activist and jihadi-watcher, on Twitter. “It was watching their very humane, moral response to the refugee crisis.”
posted by bitteschoen at 5:44 AM on November 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


Well, that definitely makes me want to be more welcoming to Syrian refugees, not less so. Extremists and fundamentalists want to see us kick them out? That makes me want to invite them over for tea.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:00 AM on November 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


The British right-wing tabloids have already latched onto this with front-page headlines about 'fake refugees' sneaking in to stir up fear against the refugees coming here. It's sickening. Unsurprisingly the Daily Mail was the worst.
posted by Flitcraft at 6:00 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


5 arrests have been made in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, a deprived area well known for its radical islamists.
The Belgium Question: Why Is a Small Country Producing So Many Jihadists.
posted by adamvasco at 6:03 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's certainly a 'cui bono' about the 'terrorists hiding with refugees' narrative being assembled. I think we had better see some CCTV from the theatre soon or else the conspiracy theory speculation is going to be well justified.
posted by colie at 6:04 AM on November 15, 2015


Fluctuat nec mergitur
posted by y2karl at 6:06 AM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Al Jazeera America was showing footage just a few minutes ago that appeared to be from a camera pointed at the stage at the moment firing audibly started, though it doesn't particularly show anything. Can't find it as a separate clip on their web site unfortunately.
posted by XMLicious at 6:22 AM on November 15, 2015


I think that was phone footage from a concertgoer. I mean the CCTV that covers the entrance and exit of every theatre/nightclub.
posted by colie at 6:24 AM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Too-Ticky: "Well, that definitely makes me want to be more welcoming to Syrian refugees, not less so. Extremists and fundamentalists want to see us kick them out? That makes me want to invite them over for tea."

Yesterday my wife had her step-mother on the phone. That person has always tried to ease the turmoil of refugees, she was involved into the MRAP movement. Yesterday, she had some news of a young Chechen girl she had befriended, who lives in Paris now. On Friday night, the girl, now a young woman, was completely terrified, and was hiding in her apartment.

So, I'm with you 2ticky. People can make a difference.
posted by nicolin at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Al Jazeera America was showing footage just a few minutes ago that appeared to be from a camera pointed at the stage at the moment firing audibly started, though it doesn't particularly show anything.

I think this is the video in question.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:28 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The British right-wing tabloids have already latched onto this with front-page headlines about 'fake refugees' sneaking in to stir up fear against the refugees

Gawd... I just wandered over to take a look at the Daily Torygraph... headlines include:

"Paris attacks: Known terror suspect travelled through three European countries before suicide strike - latest news"

"450 Jihadi Johns on the loose in Britain: Special forces deployed on UK streets"

"Refugees to be vetted twice before entering UK: 'We will not let terrorists exploit migrant crisis', says May"

"5,800 jihadists in France. No wonder they are fighting an unwinnable war against terror"
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:34 AM on November 15, 2015


Le Monde> From interviews of jihadists under custody, it emerges that the EI organisation advocates stealth tactics to stay under the radar. One of them is to travel with “borrowed” passports. Multiple French jihadists were intercepted on their way back from Siria these past few months with identity papers belonging to third parties.

The Guardian article linked above was pointing out that a more formal process before crossing the sea might be safer for refugees and more secure for everyone than the current haphazard way they are travelling, where passports sometimes get stolen on the way.
posted by Tobu at 6:57 AM on November 15, 2015


(sorry, that article)
posted by Tobu at 7:07 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


All of the "who is a refugee who isn't" stuff is symbolic, and probably won't help either side of the debate about refugees. One of the suspects was almost certainly born in France right? Shouldn't that cancel out the whole argument, and turn the focus to how to fight the ideology rather than be scared of outside influences? But that would be logical. Xenophobes gonna phobe.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:25 AM on November 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Fluctuat nec mergitur: 1, 2, 3, 4+.
posted by progosk at 7:36 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Twitter has cheered me up again with #sadnessinhiseyes.
posted by colie at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Something could be happening place de la République, which just emptied.
posted by Tobu at 9:44 AM on November 15, 2015


Shots heard in Paris [via]
posted by mazola at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2015


It seems it was just unprovoked panic. Sorry.
posted by Tobu at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2015


Seems to have been a false alarm. There were many of them after 9/11 in the States. People are scared and react to everything.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:53 AM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks heaven - false alarm
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:54 AM on November 15, 2015


Muslim and Jewish leaders gather at Paris concert hall memorial

"It is time to close ‘places of hate’, says imam in group carrying white roses and singing La Marseillaise at scene of massacre"
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2015 [7 favorites]






And now CNN is just showing a loop of people running in panic. FFS.
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Muslim and Jewish leaders gather at Paris concert hall memorial

I'm annoyed that the Guardian is going to the FN or the Figaro for political opinion.
People generally know what to expect from the FN, but le Figaro is now headed by Alexis Brézet, who was the political director for Valeurs Actuelles, a reactionary rag. Their journalists don't necessarily like it, but it's far more to the right than it pretends to be.
posted by Tobu at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who sets off firecrackers in that environment?
posted by mazola at 10:21 AM on November 15, 2015


Playstation 4 ? I've just read Little Brother, and the main protagonist used an xbox to get under the radar. Maybe it's still very hard to track down relevant info on such a network.
posted by nicolin at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah that's exactly what the article says.
posted by desjardins at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks, metaquarry for that fantastic link.
posted by progosk at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


nicolin, it's also a plot point in cstross' halting state.
posted by Tobu at 11:26 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm annoyed that the Guardian is going to the FN or the Figaro for political opinion.

They're just reporting, not giving them a mic. Or should they not report on the obvious predictions that the FN will be gaining support? They actually cite generic "political analysists" and then a specific professor of political sciences too. (Nevermind that we don't really need analysts and professors to draw that conclusion, but hey journalists need to quote someone).

I also don't see what'd be annoying with a reference to the Figaro reporting on the mood inside FN headquarters. If the Figaro is closer to the right, well, isn't that exactly the point?
posted by bitteschoen at 11:27 AM on November 15, 2015


Re-post: Cartoonist Robert Crumb on the Massacre in Paris, dated 1/10/15
posted by growabrain at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is his cartoon.
posted by bukvich at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2015


Well, the reporter went to these people for a feel of the public mood, indirectly.
But it was given some context, maybe I shouldn't have latched on this.
posted by Tobu at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2015


Someone I know is looking for info on the owners/managers of the La Belle Equipe cafe. If anybody runs across info on whether they are okay, please post it here or Memail me?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2015




LobsterMitten: This seems to be their Facebook page but it's all in French.
posted by divabat at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2015


Tobu: I think I understand where you're coming from there, believe me, but the support for the FN is part of the public mood, whether we like it or not, it'd be bad journalism not to report on that - though honestly I think that would deserve its own separate article, not being mixed in with the report on the Muslim and Jewish leaders paying tribute to the victims. It's a bit of a jump from that to the second part about the FN, not an illogical one but still.

And by the way as I was watching a local news channel earlier they linked to a French news channel that was broadcasting that live, and there was a bit of a heated argument between someone from the Muslim delegation and a woman in the public, it was very interesting, did anyone catch that anywhere?
Can't find any articles mentioning that with a first quick search.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2015


A nostalgic look back
posted by growabrain at 12:08 PM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]




Gorgeous pics, thanks growabrain.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2015


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I think this is maybe a little like Jay Smooth's whole thing about telling people that they sound racist, rather than that they are racist. I'm not really interested in deciding who is and isn't evil"

If I recall it's even better than that — Jay Smooth recommends you say, "that thing you said was racist" not even "you sound racist". That way, you're making not passing judgement on the person at all. They're not racist, they don't sound racist — they just said something that can come across as racist. So then, instead of responding "I'm not racist!" or "What do you mean I sound racist!??!", the person can say, "Oh wow, that thing I said was racist? I guess I should not say that thing anymore, and re-evaluate how I feel about what I said and how I might word it in the future."

Best of all, in this case rather than having to use the word "evil" at all, we can talk about responses to a terrorist in much more tangible ways: constructive vs destructive (does our response result in more war or more peace?), unifying vs. divisive (does it bring people together, or does it further exacerbate tensions?) and leading to mutual understanding or leading to mutual distrust (do our actions and the things we say articulate what we are really feeling, or do they displace our emotions as attacks on others?).
posted by Deathalicious at 12:30 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]










> Actual culprits who empowered ISIS

You mean like these guys?
posted by bukvich at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wasn't there a miraculously intact passport just 'found' in the still-burning rubble of 9/11 hours after it happened?
posted by colie at 2:28 PM on November 15, 2015


The article about Muslim and Jewish leaders gathering was powerful. The Imam who was quoted already has a fatwa against him. It takes a lot of courage to speak out as he is doing.
posted by Salamandrous at 2:35 PM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Someone I know is looking for info on the owners/managers of the La Belle Equipe cafe.

LobsterMitten, Grégory R, the owner, is OK but his wife Djamila is among the many victims. (The link is to a very intense/moving France 2 interview with many of those grieving the Belle Equipe team.)
posted by progosk at 2:59 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


France just bombed the crap out of Raqqa (de facto ISIL capital) - link
posted by sidereal at 3:15 PM on November 15, 2015


oops, homonculus mentioned that - link has more news though.
posted by sidereal at 3:17 PM on November 15, 2015


Thank you, progosk.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2015


I watched this Frontline episode earlier: The Rise of ISIS

I literally took notes.

There are many people in there - American, Iraqi, and more - who are saying that the people of ISIS are psychopaths who do not recognize politics. They will kill anyone who disagrees with them.

Maybe this is old news to others, but that video was incredibly helpful and depressing as hell.

I don't know how the world would come together and I hate to advocate for violence, but I think there is no way to defeat ISIS without literally killing them all. And it's gonna be really hard for peaceful Muslims and secular Middle Eastern folks as those who don't want to see the difference between ISIS and regular non-homicidal maniac people who just happen to look similar.

I feel like this is the beginning of another world war. And Syria and northern Iraq will be dust and blood by the time it's done. I don't see any other way.

Before watching that video I thought there must be diplomatic means. Now I don't. I really really don't.
posted by sio42 at 3:37 PM on November 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Before watching that video I thought there must be diplomatic means. Now I don't. I really really don't.

I suggest reading more, and more broadly, instead of relying on a single Frontline episode. This is critical work that every educated person must do.

There are many people in there - American, Iraqi, and more - who are saying that the people of ISIS are psychopaths who do not recognize politics. They will kill anyone who disagrees with them.

How do thousands of psychopaths suddenly gather together? What enabled this? There's a difference between Americans in positions of authority claiming ISIS are psychopaths, and verifying if that indeed is the case, using evidence and science.

I am saying that mass psychopathy is not the only model one must subscribe to; for example maybe they are broken or traumatized individuals, who have found under Islam a rationale for organizing to kill and permission to go amok (a sociological term). Further, I would voice that these Americans are likely operating under a ideology that causes them to make such claims that instead of analyze, conveniently demonize a constructed Other. Maybe the only way to make progress is to do the work of dispelling such ideology from our side first. It is an intellectual task which is why I advocate deep reading even that people in daily life have so little time to do so.
posted by polymodus at 4:05 PM on November 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


So I 'm guessing that the western surveillance apparatus missed this one, huh? If there was any sort of transparency to what is supposedly a government organization, then I would want somebody fired for that.
posted by codacorolla at 4:08 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




Wow, those profiles of the victims on the Buzzfeed link above. I posted some pretty angry stuff upthread, and looking at the pictures of all those beautiful people just trying to live their lives made me incredibly sad, then about ten times madder. The world doesn't need to go back to the Middle Ages.
posted by freecellwizard at 4:19 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


i'm not basing it just on one video. i do read about this.

it's not just americans in the video saying that about ISIS - it's Iraqis and Muslims as well. they say ISIS are barely human, much less Muslim.

yes they attract the desperate and we can think about that all day long and write about it and read about it and talk about it.

meanwhile, ISIS keeps talking and gathering more recruits who are willing to blow themselves up to kill others in the name of a bastardized interpretation of a peaceful religion.

ISIS rose from the ashes of Al-Qaeda, took advantage of the Syrian uprising, and is now committing atrocities all over the place in the name of this caliphate. They have done this with unprecedented speed.

Of course they gather those who are desperate, who see no other way.

But how are we, the sane and rational world, to stop ISIS? It will take more than a deep reading and an intellectual task. ISIS doesn't care about borders or politics. They care about killing anyone who disagrees with them. They don't want a treaty or a deal. They are radical extremist fundamentalists.

What intellectual task should we take to stop them? Because they have risen in a such a short speed that I fear that the time needed to change minds will be too long.
posted by sio42 at 4:20 PM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


they say ISIS are barely human...

Propaganda 101.

And I say that as someone who does think that Daesh is a massive threat to the stability of the entire region, and therefore much of the world.
posted by Etrigan at 4:23 PM on November 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


From Homunculus' link
But ISIS is embedded among the civilian population.

Bauer thinks there’s an important distinction. “They are representing the civilian population,” he says, at least those who have remained and sometimes profited from the group’s presence. “They are not enslaving them. And a war is a war.”



That is an utterly terrifying thing for someone to say, and also profoundly wrong. He is paid as an expert in these matters and he sounds like the "Nuke'em all" idiots.
posted by neonrev at 4:26 PM on November 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


how it is propaganda in the way that you mean?

they line people up and shoot them point blank into mass graves and then dance and laugh about it. these are the videos they use to recruit more into ISIS. so it is propaganda, propaganda that gets them more recruits.

that seems inhuman to me.
posted by sio42 at 4:29 PM on November 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


SNL cold opens with a message from NYC to Paris.
posted by lalex at 4:29 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


the only thing i can see that makes sense would be in addition to any land war would be finding a way to stop the money flow to ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabob.

as long as they have funds, they will continue this.

but i don't think that alone will be enough.
posted by sio42 at 4:41 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Myth: People support ISIS because they like its radical form of Islam
You have probably heard that ISIS has a degree of popular support among some Iraqi and Syrian Sunni Muslims. That's true: without it, the Sunni militant group would collapse. People sometimes assume this says something about Islam itself: that the religion is intrinsically violent, or that Sunnis would support the group because they accept ISIS's radical interpretation of the Koran.

That's all wrong, and misses one of the most crucial points about ISIS: the foundation of its power comes from politics, not religion.

...

Sunnis in these countries understandably feel oppressed and out of options. When ISIS came in to their territory, many seemed to be willing to wait and see if life under their fellow Sunnis in ISIS is any worse than it was before. Rule under ISIS is, by all accounts, miserable — the group has proven utterly incompetent at operating an actual government that provides services like electricity and health care. However, it's still not obvious to Sunnis that there's any better alternative: Bashar al-Assad's regime is still murderous, Syrian moderates are weak, and the Iraqi government is aligned with some pretty vicious Shia sectarian militias.
posted by gwint at 4:48 PM on November 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


The thing that strikes me watching the above linked VICE documentary is the need, once these men are routed, to be very proactive with the boys that have now spent years under their tutelage. Those poor little boys have been radicalized and will need a lot of resources and compassion to bring them back into the fold of civilized behavior. It reminded me of the kind of stuff you see with white power parents and kids, or I guess any sort of radical home schooling - innocent hungry minds being filled with hate and poison.

My fear is that once the actual territory is "liberated", we will call it a wrap... and be dealing with these 8 year olds 10 years down the road.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:48 PM on November 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


How do thousands of psychopaths suddenly gather together? What enabled this?

There's a strand of human history that's the narrative of sociopathic young men killing and smashing things because young men have a pretty high arsehole tendency. Now, the developed world generally channels the sociopathy of young male arseholes into the armed forces so that they can be deployed to kill and smash the other young men.

(The elite divisions of developed nations' armed forces are essentially 'sociopaths in the service of good'. This isn't equating the fuckers of ISIS with them. This is about what fuels people who fight nasty bloody wars. I'm not saying that 'thousands of gathered psychopaths' is by definition an army, but that's how armies have historically been constituted, and only of late do we see armies that don't do that shit.)
posted by holgate at 4:50 PM on November 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because young men have a pretty high arsehole tendency

Please find a smaller paintbrush.
posted by artdrectr at 4:54 PM on November 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Meatbomb - that was and is a huge a problem in certain places in Africa with the child soldiers who are captured and forced to kill.
posted by sio42 at 4:54 PM on November 15, 2015


gwint - that looks like a very interesting article. i will check it out in detail tomorrow.

i've heard elsewhere (both in the frontline and other articles) that the sunnis feel so marginalized that the "bad guys" of ISIS offered protection and were also sunni. so they join up and it is political to that degree.

however i think the ones who go out and will commit suicide via bombing are the ones who truly believe in the radicalized version of islam that ISIS is handing out.
posted by sio42 at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been around the block a few times at this point, and any time someone starts saying that a group's ideology makes them "barely human", that they [collectively, all of them] kill people and laugh, we can't win unless we kill the civilians too, etc etc, I know I'm in the presence of a lot of propaganda. I've been hearing that exact same thing about various enemies of the state all my life, starting with the Soviets when I was a mere slip of a girl, and it has never once been true. Everyone has assured me, each time, that this time it's different, this time we really need to waterboard people or blow up hospitals or whatever. This time "they" are really as bad as the propaganda says.

I'm still waiting for a genuine "this time".

A parallel: it so happens that I know someone who works in rural Uganda and has for a number of years now. His take on the Lord's Resistance Army is so different from the news version we get over here - he says they're one of many similar groups of bandits, smarter and more unpleasant than most, but basically just like other groups that keep rising up and burning out over and over. They're a symptom, not mysterious, heavily ideologized monsters.

I'm not saying that ISIS aren't very dangerous and unpleasant, or that it's So Incredibly Obvious what to do next, or that everything would be fine tomorrow if only we [....did one thing]. I am saying that I've been paying at least casual attention to this stuff since the mid-eighties, and beating the drum for war and increased state power is always basically the same, except that each go-round is worse because we've fucked up the region more. "But we need to go in and fix it this time because we messed up," that's the other one I hear a lot these days, and I expect a lot more of that one over the next twenty or thirty years.
posted by Frowner at 5:00 PM on November 15, 2015 [40 favorites]


Former CIA Director James Wolsey was on NPR tonight. If his thinking reflects the deep state's thinking we are locked in on a full scale military confrontation. Ugh
posted by humanfont at 5:00 PM on November 15, 2015


None of the ISIS fighters we interviewed in Iraq had more than primary school education, some had wives and young children. When asked “what is Islam?” they answered “my life.” They knew nothing of the Quran or Hadith, or of the early caliphs Omar and Othman, but had learned of Islam from Al Qaeda and ISIS propaganda, teaching that Muslims like them were targeted for elimination unless they first eliminated the impure
Scott Atran is an an American and French anthropologist.
They deal in chaos, but they work from a script. The failure to understand that is costing us dear.
posted by adamvasco at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


I don't think this has been posted yet (apologies if it has--I have been following the thread and reading everything but I may have missed it). What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters, an article in The Nation last month.

These boys came of age under the disastrous American occupation after 2003, in the chaotic and violent Arab part of Iraq, ruled by the viciously sectarian Shia government of Nouri al-Maliki. Growing up Sunni Arab was no fun. A later interviewee described his life growing up under American occupation: He couldn’t go out, he didn’t have a life, and he specifically mentioned that he didn’t have girlfriends. An Islamic State fighter’s biggest resentment was the lack of an adolescence. Another of the interviewees was displaced at the critical age of 13, when his family fled to Kirkuk from Diyala province at the height of Iraq’s sectarian civil war. They are children of the occupation, many with missing fathers at crucial periods (through jail, death from execution, or fighting in the insurgency), filled with rage against America and their own government. They are not fueled by the idea of an Islamic caliphate without borders; rather, ISIS is the first group since the crushed Al Qaeda to offer these humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe.
posted by tiger tiger at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Their religion is not radicalized, it is
Medievalized. It is not dissimilar to the state Christianity was in when its adherents we're running around slaughtering non-believers for a few hundred years of brutal terror. Not dissimilar to the state the Jewish tribes were in when they were running around terrorizing other tribes in the OT.

All three Abrahaimic religions have come a long way. All mainstream sects have modernized with the times. Despite each faith's rich history of slaughtering non-believers, they now respect others and are engaged in civilized relations with most everyone.

ISIS are Armageddonists. They desire to eliminate apostates. Non-believers are no more worthy than animals. Believers in modern Islam are heretics. Killing us is God's great desire. They yearn to die in honor.

There is no reasoning with ISIS faithful. They are immunized against modern religion. They have absolute faith and dying for their faith is a source of hope and salvation. Ancient Islamic faith is their everything..

And there are a lot of them. Hundreds of thousands. And they are directed and organized and propagandized by very wealthy, very smart backers.

The Atlantic has two excellent articles on this, the second a response to the first, which due to device limitations I'll have to hope someone else can post.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM on November 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


adamvasco that is an excellent article.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:42 PM on November 15, 2015




Please find a smaller paintbrush.

As someone who was once a young man surrounded by young men, I think my paintbrush is suitably broad. If you don't think that there's a long narrative of shit caused by young arsehole men jacked up on their own sense of certainty and their own destructive power then I'm not sure what I can say.

It took thousands of people over centuries to build and then preserve Palmyra. It took a handful of young arsehole men to blow up the best bits of what was left of it. It takes eight young arsehole men to inflict carnage on Paris that will make life shittier for millions of people. It took 19 young arsehole men to destroy the World Trade Center and blow a hole through the Pentagon and upturn the lives of millions more. (It takes one young arsehole man to leave a corner of the United States a bloody mess every couple of months.)

This isn't about theological belief; it's about believing oneself powerful through the power to destroy. That is the shallowest of powers, but it ripples widely. It takes a lot of effort from many sources to stop young men from being destructive arseholes, and where the conditions exist to exploit that destructive tendency, terrible things happen.
posted by holgate at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2015 [42 favorites]


tiger tiger, thanks for that article. I would say there is a difference in mentality and ideological fervour between local recruits like the young man featured there, and the foreign Jihadis. It's just that the Jihadis are not going to end up prisoners of the Kurds for a whole variety of reasons.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:25 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a conversation that has been going on for a long time, for better or worse.

From Herman Melville, 19C US:

"All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys"
posted by sophieblue at 6:53 PM on November 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


All three Abrahaimic religions have come a long way. All mainstream sects have modernized with the times. Despite each faith's rich history of slaughtering non-believers, they now respect others and are engaged in civilized relations with most everyone.

ISIS are Armageddonists. They desire to eliminate apostates. Non-believers are no more worthy than animals. Believers in modern Islam are heretics. Killing us is God's great desire. They yearn to die in honor.


It's not fair to draw a strict equivalence, but there were leaks a few years after the Iraq War which showed high level briefing documents RE: the invasion using apocalyptic Christian framing. It's different for sure, but apocalyptic strains of thought exist in the other abrahamic religions, and do inform policy. Even non-secular schools of thought can get in on the action, e.g. accelerationism.
posted by codacorolla at 6:53 PM on November 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Atlantic has two excellent articles on this, the second a response to the first, which due to device limitations I'll have to hope someone else can post.

Yes they are excellent, the first were posted up earlier (and the Atlantic has highlighted it again among links from stories on first page):

What ISIS Really Wants - The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

(and the second one, a survey of responses to the first article)

Some highlights, that specifically address what's being discussed in previous comments (and all these statements are illustrated and explained in the article, it's well researched):
Many refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest. Their skepticism is comprehensible. In the past, Westerners who accused Muslims of blindly following ancient scriptures came to deserved grief from academics—notably the late Edward Said—who pointed out that calling Muslims “ancient” was usually just another way to denigrate them. Look instead, these scholars urged, to the conditions in which these ideologies arose—the bad governance, the shifting social mores, the humiliation of living in lands valued only for their oil.

Without acknowledgment of these factors, no explanation of the rise of the Islamic State could be complete. But focusing on them to the exclusion of ideology reflects another kind of Western bias: that if religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul. ...

Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”
and from the follow-up:
...the dominant cliché about ISIS was that it was a thrill-kill group that had hijacked Islam for its own ends, and that these ends were cynical, pathological, and secular. The investigation yielded something like the opposite conclusion: ISIS had hijacked secular sources of power and grievance, and was using them for religious ends—ends that are, at least among some supporters, sincere and carefully thought through. They include a belief in the imminent fulfillment of prophecy, with the group in a key role.
The articles are not really saying anything new for anyone who's been following but they do sum up in a clear way a lot of what we know as documented by anyone reporting in depth on this - and by anti-ISIS activists themselves - and last but not least by ISIS propaganda itself (which anyone interested in understanding more should take a look at, if you have the stomach for that).
posted by bitteschoen at 7:42 PM on November 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


And, for what it's worth, I'm about as far as removed from this reality as any of you here, but growing up at the time of domestic terrorism in Europe I'm familiar with the appeal of armed struggle and extreme ideologies in general especially on young men, and I know how that appeal can be strong enough for political reasons alone. I can understand how a strong enough belief in a strong enough cause can drive people to violence and terrorism.

And even as I find it horrifying beyond what words can express, I can see the appeal of ISIS to supporters as incredibly more powerful than any of those other forms of terrorism we've known, because it is so completely religious and millenarian and apocalyptic, and therefore so completely impervious to any reasonability, to any internal disagreement, to any mechanism that can lead to its ideological defeat. It does not admit defeat. It is predicated on divine invincibility.

Politically-motivated extremist groups always had that room for defeat, even in the most extreme instances if the motivation was political there was room for disagreements on goals and methods, based on reason and facts - and that also left room for negotiations, or, even for historical developments to make those political motivations less appealing or relevant.

No such luck here. But I can see how that's precisely the source of their power and appeal to their supporters. An armed struggle based on a cause that is so absolute, so all-encompassing, so much more powerful than any human law or reason, because it's based on prophecy - I find that horrifying and yet I can definitely see how that appeal would work.

It's so naive to think that if you cannot understand it, it must not work like that. We can understand it if we put our minds to it, it's not a bunch of random psychopaths, they do have a cause more powerful than we like to admit.
posted by bitteschoen at 7:48 PM on November 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Frowner: I've been around the block a few times at this point, and any time someone starts saying that a group's ideology makes them "barely human", that they [collectively, all of them] kill people and laugh, we can't win unless we kill the civilians too, etc etc, I know I'm in the presence of a lot of propaganda. I've been hearing that exact same thing about various enemies of the state all my life, starting with the Soviets when I was a mere slip of a girl, and it has never once been true. Everyone has assured me, each time, that this time it's different, this time we really need to waterboard people or blow up hospitals or whatever. This time "they" are really as bad as the propaganda says.

I mean, I would be strongly against doing all of those things, and I think the idea that the atrocities of an enemy justify committing them ourselves is utterly wrong in every way- but every bit of information I’ve heard about them indicates that ISIS really is on the same sort of level as groups like the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge, and this includes what I’ve heard from non-Western (and indeed, West-hostile) sources, personal accounts from places like Kobane and Sinjar, and ISIS’s own statements (like the translation I saw of a manual they released to their fighters on “war brides”). If anything, I’d say Western media doesn’t even fully get it across- IME, the more one learns, the worse the organization seems. This doesn’t mean that they’re "barely human" and that any measures are justified in fighting them, but I think it does mean that they should *be* fought- which, to be sure, is not something that should be done with military force alone, and to the extent it’s possible it would be best if it wasn't Western militaries doing it, but nevertheless.

I’ve followed this conflict for a long time, I’ve read a lot about the Middle East and its history, I’m well aware of how harmful the actions of the Western powers have often been there, and I still arrive at a conclusion pretty close to that of sio42. I do not see any sort of solution which involves the continued existence of ISIS as being either possible or desirable, for many reasons. (One of which being that I consider Rojava to be the most hopeful and positive development the Middle East- and arguably, the world- has seen in a very long time. I think leftist solidarity with the YPG is crucial for any left worthy of the name- and if Rojava is to survive, ISIS cannot.) I don’t think recognizing this has to mean seeing ISIS as some sort of inhuman Other, either. There’s a lot of things that helped give rise to, e.g., Nazism- the treaty of Versailles, the trauma of WWI, the economic effects of the Great Depression, etc. And the Nazis were, of course, human beings, not supernatural monsters, and it’s probably safe to say that if things had been done differently in the past, Nazism wouldn’t have been a thing at all. All of this can, and should, be recognized- but none of it means that therefore, the Nazis should not have been fought against, or that there was any hope of a non-violent solution. It's not a direct comparison, as the Nazis wielded a great deal more power than ISIS does- but the degree of harm ISIS causes both in the areas they control and with terrorist attacks outside of those areas is great enough that I don’t think they can be simply left alone.

To be sure, diplomacy will be a vitally important part of any solution to the entire problem, but it’s not going to be with ISIS themselves. On a practical level, it is likely impossible anyway because they view all other states as illegitimate- this is fundamentally such a cornerstone of their ideology that any sort of permanent peaceful relationship with other states would be seen as anathema. They do indeed seem to have a sort of unofficial alliance with Turkey (which is utterly unforgivable on the part of the Turkish government), but in their public communications, they still call Turkey an infidel state that must be destroyed, and have committed terrorist actions in Turkey (against Erdogan’s enemies, to be sure). This probably represents the extent of the “peace” it is possible to make with ISIS. (The Turkish government, IMO, should be an international pariah in the way apartheid South Africa was- not only for their support for ISIS, but for how they treat Kurds and dissidents in general.) On a moral level- ISIS has committed genocide and intends to commit more, the atrocities they have committed are legion, they have established a system of institutionalized sexual violence, and they aim to conquer as much territory as they can. Even if it were possible to make a deal with them (which I don’t believe it is), it would be an obscene betrayal of all those who have suffered and died at ISIS’s hands, and those who would be their victims in the future. It would be like making a deal with Imperial Japan after Pearl Harbor and viewing all the present and future victims of their conquests in Asia as a necessary sacrifice for peace.

At any rate, none of this means that the proper solution is a US military invasion. In general, ISIS has been losing the ground war against their many enemies, and has lost a fair amount of territory in recent days- there are many ways of helping that process along without a full-scale invasion, and in the short term I think doing that is the best option for the world to take. (I think there could be an argument for sending ground troops, but only in the context of a truly global coalition, one that includes the traditional enemies of the Western powers- if Russian and Iranian troops fight alongside French and American ones, I think that sends a very different message than if it were the Western powers alone. At this point, I think this may actually be a possibility, though still a remote one- from what I’ve gathered, Russia, Iran, and the US are all pretty much on the same page when it comes to ISIS, though obviously they have plenty of differences about who to support against them, etc. I definitely don’t think a coalition of the US and its allies alone sending ground troops is a good idea at all, though.)
posted by a louis wain cat at 8:03 PM on November 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


"Blaming all Muslims for terrorists is like blaming all musicians for Ted Nugent"
posted by jeffburdges at 11:43 AM on November 15
[1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

I was surprised that one of my more right-wing, and vitriolic FB contacts posted that. She's posted a lot of the worst stuff against President Obama, and not nice stuff about Muslims previously. I found it amusing and of course, shared.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:29 PM on November 15, 2015


Your FB contact really hates Ted Nugent's music, is my guess.
posted by obliterati at 9:05 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


ISIS really is on the same sort of level as groups like the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge [...]

I think there's a strong parallel to the Nazis, but I don't know enough to say whether it extends to the Khmer Rouge. The Nazi state was essentially parasitic. It supported itself by plundering the people and countries it dispossessed: taking their homes, their goods, and consuming their very lives through slave labor. It was intrinsically unable to remain static; it had to keep gaining territory because it was destroying itself and the countries it conquered. There couldn't be a "reformed" Nazism because its support depended on the psychological effect of its conquests and the material effect of cheap (or free) luxury goods taken from the conquered.

ISIS is similar, in that it supports itself by plunder, "charity", and stolen wealth. The perks that are accessible to its members (slaves, gold, the thrills of cheap ammo and plenty of targets) are either captured or supplied by supporters overseas. As soon as it stops fighting, they disappear. So there is no peace to be made with ISIS, just as there could have been no peace with the Nazis. The only way they could make peace would be through a profound transformation that would effectively make them not-ISIS: they would have to extend civil rights to non-Salafis, renounce their program of conquest, and let people lead normal lives. They can't do that while remaining ISIS.

This being said, I don't know how pathological states get reformed. Germany was transformed by being thoroughly beaten, but ISIS' identity is tied up with religious identity and a military defeat might just turn them into a dispersed terror group. I think there are probably two fronts in this war: ISIS and ISIS' supporters overseas. That second front - which is social and ideological, not military - is going to be the hardest one to win.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:56 PM on November 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Randomly attacking random people in a shopping and restaurant district *on purpose* is way worse in intent than anything GWB did...

US soldiers killed at least 100,000 Iraqis...

mistakes were made...

Yeah, I mean, you guys remember a fella named GW Bush, right? Invaded Iraq, disbanded the army and left a lot of Sunni military folks unemployed, marginalized and disenfranchised by their government, and pissed off about it? This is extremely relevant to the current situation, and can be directly traced to Western intervention in the last decade and a half.

"Al-Baghdadi replenished the group's leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba'athist military and intelligence officers who had served during Saddam Hussein's rule.[99] These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi's top 25 commanders."

That is the shallowest of powers, but it ripples widely. It takes a lot of effort from many sources to stop young men from being destructive arseholes, and where the conditions exist to exploit that destructive tendency, terrible things happen.

there'll always be 'young arsehole men' (unless the moon blows up), i'd focus on the conditions and who is exploiting them. "Don't try to moderate Islam, says Scott Atran. Instead, offer youth a dream, for themselves, and for their struggle."

in the same vein, it's up to moderates (who else?) in the US, europe, etc. to rein in their own homegrown extremists/fundamentalists and prosecute -- one can dream -- those who would exploit them; je suis syria. "Over 200,000 people have died in Syria in the past 4.5 years. That's a Paris attack EVERY SINGLE DAY."

on that note, follow canada's lead?* - "Mr Trudeau has promised to boost the number of Syrian refugees to Canada from 15,000 to 25,000... He also said he will end Canada's bombing mission against Isis in Syria and Iraq and restore the diplomacy with Iran, marking a u-turn from Mr Harper's interventionist approach."

-Best Way to Defeat Global Terrorism?
-How Arabs view ISIS.

Fight against Islamic State dominates as world leaders meet in Turkey - "Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the summit on Sunday evening..."
Obama was due to hold bilateral talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and later, at a working dinner with fellow leaders, to have in-depth discussions on Syria, ranging from counter-terrorism to the refugee crisis.

Turkey has seen its worst nightmare unfold in Syria. Ankara faces not only the threat from Islamic State, but also the prospect of Assad, shielded by Russia and Iran, holding on to power, while Kurdish rebels backed by the United States make territorial gains.

Obama is likely try to ease differences with Erdogan over the fight against Islamic State, especially the role of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Turkey, which opened its air bases in July to the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, sees advances by Syrian Kurds along an area abutting Turkey as a threat to its security, fearing they could stoke separatism among its own Kurds.
also btw...
  • ianbremmer: "Turkey has launched roughly 100 times more strikes against Kurdish separatists than ISIS fighters in Syria."
  • "Saudi Arabia might want some better comparables on the social justice front."
  • "Looks like actual business getting done on the sidelines of the G20."
oh and re: melville - "our systems produce persons so damaged that although we may put them out of our minds... they are still there. And in some way we are accountable to them."
posted by kliuless at 10:33 PM on November 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Thank, Bittescheon. There may be a third article. It described more ideas from the first article's main expert, IIRC.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:07 PM on November 15, 2015


leaks a few years after the Iraq War which showed high level briefing documents RE: the invasion using apocalyptic Christian framing.

Or a propaganda campaign to foment an apocalyptic counter-movement.

We already get wing nuts in America blowing up Federal buildings and stockpiling for the end of days. And they haven't even been attacked by an Army! It is so easy to turn naïvely faithful people into mass-murdering God-supplicating Old Testament lunatics.

Heck, I believe we've got real examples in Uganda, backed by American evangelists. Slaughtering shit out of an innocent minority in the name of god.

It's time for their modern, peaceful, global-humanity-compatible brethren to rein them all in. No more religious war. No more tolerance for sociopathic faith.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:24 PM on November 15, 2015 [6 favorites]




they say ISIS are barely human...

Yeah, that's the way Saracens were portayed in The Song of Roland too.
posted by nicolin at 11:39 PM on November 15, 2015 [4 favorites]




These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi's top 25 commanders."

One third brainwashed to believe they were captured by crusading infidels, that prophesies are being fulfilled, that it is a clash of evil and blessed religions, and that heaven awaits and that honorable death is God's most gracious release from the suffering of this life.

Anyway, whatever way they came to be, we have to decide how one turns a religious fanatic with such passionate belief that he'll sacrifice lives to it. Myself, I think it ultimately ends up like Heaven's Gate or Branch Davidian.

It is, ultimately, sacrificial faith.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:40 PM on November 15, 2015


I'm a bit nervous, as basically the first Google link on searching for that article's main expert was this counterpoint that took the Atlantic's first article heavily to task. I believe that, by the end of the second article, the Atlantic had walked its position back to a defensibly bland "apocalyptic fundamentalist beliefs are in there, too" but really can't justify the stuff quoted here about "it's not an aggrieved and pathological group that hijacked Islam, it's a fundamentally Islamic group that hijacked grievances" nor that "Muslims who call it un-Islamic have a cotton-candy view of their own religion".

Haykel is very clear that he thinks the grievances and the fundamentalism are too intertwingled to call either of them the "true ends" that have hijacked the other. And I'll call on my own experiences with Christian fundamentalism—including apocalyptic versions—to say that having religious scholars ready to bring the arguments and the citations to bear on why this-or-that fundamentalist interpretation of Holy Scripture is misguided, or at least that more moderate interpretations of The Text are not refuted by their leaders' ignorant theologies, is a critical part of getting people out of that mindset and out of that system.

As important as it is to recognize that Christian denominations in the U.S. that reject homosexuality as a sin do so based on particular interpretations of certain Biblical passages that they really do believe in very strongly, it's equally important to not go around and call those denominations that accept homosexuality as "unchristian" or having "a cotton-candy view of their own religion". That plays right into fundamentalists' hands. So too with Daesh. If moderate Muslims are citing chapter and verse (or whatever) from the Hadith to argue Daesh's methods toward trying to form a modern Caliphate are contrary to proper theology, we should be giving them megaphones not calling them naive.
posted by traveler_ at 11:43 PM on November 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm not saying that 'thousands of gathered psychopaths' is by definition an army, but that's how armies have historically been constituted, and only of late do we see armies that don't do that shit

The US army certainly behaved like that in Abu Ghraib and we have the photographs. The images of that stuff are far more likely to be the recruitment ads for IS than the videos of their grisly executions - those are made for our benefit, and very effective they are too.
posted by colie at 11:53 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Muslims who call it un-Islamic have a cotton-candy view of their own religion".

In the same way any Christisn of Jew looking at their faith has cotton candy between their ears if they do not see that their early history is founded on terrorism.

Just this week three of your Presidential candidates supported a Christian preacher who literally called on believers to murder gays. Anyone claiming that isn't part of Christianity is Moses — swimming in denial. It is in the books, it is a an ancient historical part of Christianity, and those preachers are not un-Christian for promoting it.

What they are is un-Modern Christian. They are not Christians compatible with a crowded, diverse, global, multi-faceted society. Just like ISIS. Stuck in the ancient past.

All three Abrahaimic religions have their Ancient Code believers. Ancient Code believers can not live in a modern, connected world.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:07 AM on November 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


The US army certainly behaved like that in Abu Ghraib and we have the photographs.

Notably pictures featuring a woman prominently, for anybody who thinks brutality in war zones is a uniquely male arsehole problem. Personally, I think it's a problem with putting human beings in conditions that stress them beyond the breaking point while encouraging a dehumanizing view of the other side.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:12 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'll bite, since I believe nobody has voiced this thus far. What ISIS really needs is aid, coordinated on an international scale. They need rehabilitation. They need help dealing with their anger issues. Et cetera.

But they will not get this. Not because it's impossible, but because the developed nations have their own vested power interests that thwart such constructive activity. And because the ideology of our own populations prevent us from even thinking such a thought, unless you happen to watch a lot of Star Trek, or have been engaged with some other subculture similarly liberal and progressive - believe it or not, this comment would not be possible had I not chanced upon a thread in r/startrek, today on reddit. In this supposedly modern world, these are the kinds of ideas ahead of their time.
posted by polymodus at 12:18 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


See the problem is they kind of have a habit of raping and murdering aid workers. I don't want to do what I just did and dehumanize the enemy and say they are beyond rehabilitation, but there are practical barriers to implementing that solution.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:21 AM on November 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


And that's not the real problem. The question is how to provide effective social support in the form of constructive intervention. To dispel ideology requires changing one's perspective so as to approach and solve problems creatively. And so on. I've stated my piece as clearly as I can, so I'm going to leave it at this for now.
posted by polymodus at 12:26 AM on November 16, 2015


What ISIS really needs is aid, coordinated on an international scale.

Fuck the war. Everywhere Daesh is, we build schools instead of bombing them. That's what Fundamentalist Assholes really fear. "A Girl With A Library Card"

See the problem is they kind of have a habit of raping and murdering aid workers.

Less MSF, More Halliburton with plenty of security and armoured tractors just building infrastructure.... That's one core-competency of the US at least...
posted by mikelieman at 12:27 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


That sounds to me pretty much like the nation building we have already tried in Afghanistan and Iraq to very mixed results at best. They do not want us there, even if we build schools.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:32 AM on November 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


It is in the books

Agreed.

it is a an ancient historical part of Christianity

Agreed.

and those preachers are not un-Christian for promoting it.

Disagree most vehemently—are you a Priest? Theologian? Have a Doctorate in Divinity? Are you the Pope?

The network of which Christian denominations consider which others to be truly Christian or an apostasy is fascinating, and also very complex. For the record, the one I was raised in considers adhering to the Apostle's, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as the official standard; deviate on other details and you might be a bad Christian but you'll still be one. Deviate on those and it's (possibly) eternal damnation; thus, Catholics are ok but Mormons are right out. Naturally those two have other ideas, though I believe the three creeds have a role in Catholicism's judgments as well.

The question of which Muslims are or are not Muslims is one for them to decide amongst themselves. There are heretics in the modern days and heretics in the past, and it's vital to give Islam room to find its own theologies that are compatible with inherently-plural global civilization. If that means letting Christians call murdering gays un-Christ-like, despite what past Christians did, despite what that guy says; and if that means letting Imams call suicide bombings like these ones haram, despite past Muslim history, despite what Daesh does; we give them the room to find their compatible theology.

The question of what, exactly, is un-Christian or un-Muslim is a theological question from its boots to its hat, not at all a historical one. Tying it to history is exactly the fundamentalists' approach, just with the heroes and villains swapped. Do you like perpetuating holy wars?
posted by traveler_ at 12:33 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think "Nation Building" implies the kind of L. Paul Bremer governmental bullshit. "Building Democracy"... I don't think that's possible, but we can build libraries. If anything, we waste the same dollars at the end of the decade, we're responsible for way fewer casualties, and maybe someone reads a book and learns something.

It sure as hell ain't perfect, but it beats the alternative on the table.
posted by mikelieman at 12:36 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


So cottony. The preacher is Christian because he says he is Christian. It happens that he is a Christian of the Ancient Faith variety, fortunately not one to put action to his faith out of fear of secular punishment. The evangelists implementing death penalties in Uganda are also Ancient Faith adherents, every bit as Christian as you. More so, they insist.

it's vital to give Islam room to find its own theologies … that means letting Imams call suicide bombings like these ones haram, despite past Muslim history, despite what Daesh does; we give them the room to find their compatible theology.

Just, wow. That's a stunner.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on November 16, 2015


From Drinky Die's "French Interior Minister Calls For 'Dissolution' Of Some Mosques" link:
Around 7.5 percent of the country's inhabitants are Muslim, but some 60 percent of prisoners are, according to a 2014 report.

Can that be correct? It would be alarming if true.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:56 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


That sounds to me pretty much like the nation building we have already tried in Afghanistan and Iraq to very mixed results at best. They do not want us there, even if we build schools.

My interpretation of Afghanistan was that most of the civilian population liked most of what we were doing. We were a lot better than the Taliban. We shouldn't have left: we should have built more schools and secured more villages and convoys.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:58 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can that be correct? It would be alarming if true.

I've heard 70 percent too. It's definitely a sign of something going wrong.

Well you take the oil to Turkey, Syria, other places in Iraq and you sell it to an oil extractor for 50 cents on the dollar. ...Then you rock up to an arms dealer in Turkey or Egypt with suitcases full of cash and they deliver a plane/truck load of Kalashnikovs and RPGs.
-
I have trouble understanding why this can't be choked off somehow. The more cynical me thinks that it hasn't because of other hidden Western agendas.


U.S. Warplanes Strike ISIS Oil Trucks in Syria

Intensifying pressure on the Islamic State, United States warplanes for the first time attacked hundreds of trucks on Monday that the extremist group has been using to smuggle the crude oil it has been producing in Syria, American officials said.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:02 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's vital to give Islam room to find its own theologies … that means letting Imams call suicide bombings like these ones haram, despite past Muslim history, despite what Daesh does; we give them the room to find their compatible theology.

Just, wow. That's a stunner.


Oh, thank goodness. I mistranslated haram. You are not advocating allowing Ancient Code Imams to preach suicide attacks. Man, that misreading really threw me for a loop.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:47 AM on November 16, 2015


from a Muslim man in Singapore:
I want to thank well-meaning non-Muslims who, in the wake of these attacks, have emphasised that they have been carried out by a small, twisted minority. A terrorist's goal is to sow hatred and discord, and by not giving in, you are defeating their plans.

But I want to say that as a Muslim, I wish that we weren't so quick to emphasise that this has nothing to do with us. While I personally have never killed anyone and none of my friends and family have ever resorted to violence, radicalism has everything to do with Islam. And the failure to address that out of a well-intentioned commitment to tolerance is making the problem worse.

ISIS is a Muslim organisation, and it is an Islamic problem. Let me say it again to be perfectly clear. ISIS is a Muslim organisation, and they are a cancer at the heart of Islam. And the problem will not go away until Muslims confront that.

ISIS attackers scream 'Allah hu'akbar' during their attacks.
ISIS recruits cite Qur'anic verses as justification for the rape and enslavement of women.
ISIS soldiers kill archaeologists, gay men and women, and people who refuse to convert to Islam because they are blasphemers.

There are no Christians in ISIS. There are no Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Taoists, Houngans, Catholics, Wiccans, Hindus or even Scientologists in ISIS. ISIS is a Muslim organisation and they kill in the name of Islam.

So don't say that ISIS aren't 'true Muslims' or that they are 'not really Muslims'. Like any large organisation, ISIS exists in a spectrum. You have the aimless, restless teenager who never amounted to anything in his life and traveled to Syria because he can't find a job and doesn't know if the Qur'an is to be read from left to right or right to left. But you also have pious professionals, businessmen, and academics who read their Qur'an cover to cover, pray every day, were seduced into radicalism, and truly believe that the Islamic State's goal of conquest is a noble one. The so-called 'Caliph' Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has a doctorate in Islamic studies.

So if you feel that Muslims are being oppressed or killed in Muslim countries, I expect you to also be just as outraged by ISIS. Because they have killed more Muslims in Iraq, Syria and Jordan than the entire US army. They have done more damage to the name and reputation of Islam than any Western nation. ISIS is Islam's biggest enemy, not the US, not Israel or France or Germany or the Russians.

We have to own the problem. We have to admit that this is a religious problem, and we need to renew our commitment to a secular country which treats all religions equally. I have believed in the importance of secularism all my life, and with every day that passes that belief grows stronger. Religion is no way to govern a nation. Not any religion, and not any nation.

ISIS is not America's problem, nor the British, nor the French. ISIS is not Syria or Iraq's problem. ISIS is a problem for Muslims. And if you can't admit that, you're not really a good Muslim either.
posted by divabat at 2:57 AM on November 16, 2015 [49 favorites]


It's a refreshing quote, but very telling that this guy is from Singapore. Find me a Malay Malaysian who would have the stones to say that - I can assure you they are few and far between, and keeping their heads down. Since becoming Muslim, I have been privy to some very very ugly conversations among my brothers - and these were primary school principals and teachers, for the most part.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:44 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]




Well, nice to know where they draw the line.
posted by Miko at 6:11 AM on November 16, 2015


Actually they already did that in January, after Charlie Hebdo.
posted by Tobu at 6:14 AM on November 16, 2015


Washington Post: The Belgian neighborhood indelibly linked to jihad
posted by bukvich at 6:17 AM on November 16, 2015


The Islamic State group has released what appears to be a new propaganda video, warning of an attack in Washington.

A fighter who addresses the camera also appears to reference the Syria peace talks in Vienna, saying: “we have decided to negotiate with you in the trenches and not in the hotels.”

posted by Drinky Die at 6:19 AM on November 16, 2015




Ooof. Just read this...

Libération's explainer for kids.

"Vendredi soir, tu as dû entendre qu’il s’est passé quelque chose de très grave. Le P’tit Libé te propose de te donner les clés pour comprendre ce qui est arrivé. Mais n’hésite pas à poser des questions à tes parents si tu n’es pas sûr d’avoir bien compris."

My half-assed translation:

"On Friday night, you would have heard about all sorts of serious things happening. The P'tit Libé ['Little Lib'] is giving you the keys to understanding what's been going on. But don't be afraid to ask your parents questions if you don't understand."

It's divided up into these sections:

What happened on Friday night?

Why did the terrorists attack?

How is this going to change daily life?

What are they going to do now?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:40 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hollande: "We are not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins represent none."

I found Paul Wells' coverage in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks helpful - he's a fluently bilingual journalist who has studied and lived in France. So he's able to cover and translate in real time, which helps avoid a lot of confusion, IMO.

He's live-tweeting some of what's developing right now at the Versailles meeting of the National Assembly and Senate:

Holalnde calls for "a large and unique coaltion" against terrorism: so he is meeting both Obama and Putin in days to come. This is key....

But it's looking like the state of emergency is going to be extended, and Hollande is talking about constitutional amendments.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:54 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meatbomb, can you clarify? In reading your response I as not sure what the ugly conversation means in the context of your teachers and school administrators.
posted by jadepearl at 8:26 AM on November 16, 2015


Derek Davison: Don't Help ISIS Get What It Wants
Part of the rationale underlying attacks against Western targets, like 9/11, the 7/7/2005 attack in London, and last night’s attack in Paris is the desire to inspire a backlash against Muslims living in Western nations. Al-Qaeda and ISIS want to create an “us vs. them” dynamic in the relationship between “Islam” and “the West,” to make it impossible for Muslims to continue to live in the West, to show that Western claims to value “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” are shams. Don’t take my word for it, read what ISIS actually says on the subject:
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:50 AM on November 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


But how are we, the sane and rational world, to stop ISIS? It will take more than a deep reading and an intellectual task. ISIS doesn't care about borders or politics. They care about killing anyone who disagrees with them. They don't want a treaty or a deal. They are radical extremist fundamentalists.

They are radical extremist fundamentalists who gained a perceived credibility for their beliefs the last time a Western nation reacted to a terrorist attack with violence. Even if we bomb the hell out of ISIS, what might we be planting in its ashes?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Notably pictures featuring a woman prominently, for anybody who thinks brutality in war zones is a uniquely male arsehole problem. Personally, I think it's a problem with putting human beings in conditions that stress them beyond the breaking point while encouraging a dehumanizing view of the other side.

Careful there, you're getting in the way of the "young men are terrible, i would know, i'm a man who was young once" steamroller.

But seriously, i rolled my eyes harder than "find a smaller brush" could cover when i saw more than one comment essentially pushing that point. Does this really have to be a time for self flagellation?

Between that and the weird sort of vine climbing through here of "ISIS are cavemen" and somehow medieval/subhuman or whatever i'm getting pretty weird vibes in here by the time i got near the bottom. It's one thing to be upset, but that's pretty uncomfortable.
posted by emptythought at 9:15 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]




Growing Number of Republican Governors Pledge to Support Terrorism States Refuse to Accept Syrian Refugees in Wake of Paris Attacks
A growing number of states are refusing to take in Syrian refugees amid heightened security concerns following Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.

Michigan and Alabama were the first states in the country to refuse relocating Syrian refugees on Sunday, and they have now been joined by Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Indiana.

Govs. Rick Snyder of Michigan, Robert Bentley of Alabama, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said in separate statements Sunday and today that their states would not be relocating refugees from the war-torn country until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully reviewed its screening procedures.

"Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration," Snyder said. "But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents."
posted by zombieflanders at 9:25 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Uhe Republican governors of Alabama and Michigan announced their states would refuse Syrian refugees. Monday morning, two more Republican governors, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Greg Abbott of Texas, followed suit. Abbott wrote President Obama a letter urging Obama “to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”

I, personally, wrote to Abbott and told him that I would take a family. I am not afraid, and neither should the rest of Texas act like cowards.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:31 AM on November 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


You know, I don't have any right to tell Christians how to be Christian, but as a Jewish person, I am commanded to remember that we were strangers in the land of Egypt and to welcome the stranger in my midst. It is a little baffling to me that these people make such a show of their religiosity and then seem to ignore what seem to me to be the really fundamental precepts of their religion.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:31 AM on November 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


"Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration," Snyder said. "But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents."

Oh, so he is running for President in 2020.
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Are these states also going to be refusing French nationals who live in Belgium, since those are the people we actually know are responsible for the tragedies in Paris?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:34 AM on November 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Here's the "third article" from The Atlantic, which turns out to not be from The Atlantic: Conversation w/Haykel in ThinkProgress.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:44 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb, can you clarify?

Just all of the typical extremely racist and xenophobic stuff you can likely imagine - the Jews need to be driven into the sea, the Chinese are trying to steal our country, the Indians are shirk and so a valid target of violence, evolution is a Western corruption... Geez, in retrospect these guys were ready to tick all the boxes. And this was not some big confidential thing, as soon as I identified as part of the in-group it all came pouring out easily and at length, with minimal prompting.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:45 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Despite the despicable conduct of the governors in question, I did a spit take at this response to Jindal's tweet:

Very brave and principled, @BobbyJindal. Huge fan. Have you considered deleting your account forever and feeding your phone to sharks?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:49 AM on November 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Also worth thinking about, especially in light of the claim that the original target of the Beirut bombers was a hospital...

Beirut Wonders if Some Terror Attacks Mean More Than Others:

The Beirut bombings, on Nov. 12, killed 43. A pair of motorcycle-mounted suicide bombers left a further 200 injured. It was a news item, to be sure, and the worst bombing since Beirut’s civil war ended in 1990, but one largely reduced to geopolitics: The attack was claimed by ISIS, or the Islamic State, and it took place in a neighborhood that was a stronghold for Hizballah, which is fighting in Syria on behalf of President Bashar Assad, with backing from Iran. International coverage didn’t dwell on the fallout or the families left behind, an omission that makes it seem almost inevitable that it will happen again.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:04 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Easy Days Are Over: After Paris, this period of relative peace and easy libertarianism is coming to an end.

lol where the fuck has Will Saletan lived for the last fifteen years. how can you write "It's also an era of isolationism, because our troops have fought two wars overseas" with a straight face. ahahaha
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:07 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]




""Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration," Snyder said. "But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.""

God, Fuckwit Snyder — largest Syrian population in the country is in Michigan. People have friends and family there. And as someone noted way the fuck upthread — the fucking assholes who perpetrated this attack are the same fucking assholes they're refugees FROM.

C'mon. The last "terrorist plot" we heard about involving Muslims from Michigan was a study in the competing incompetence of the entrapping FBI and the idiot "terrorists" who were too dumb to be entrapped easily. Even my Yemeni friends with ties to their ongoing crisis had condemnations of the Paris attacks up on Facebook before the Bataclan was stormed. These are not the Muslims you should be worried about, and an inability to tell the difference is some Wonderbread racism shit.
posted by klangklangston at 10:09 AM on November 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


The Asshole Governors Club now includes Illinois.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on November 16, 2015


And Indiana.
posted by futz at 10:14 AM on November 16, 2015


If ISIS is going to use the refugees to sneak in terrorists it makes sense to take a brief pause to double check security procedures, beyond that stopping is doing exactly what ISIS wants western nations to do. I would like to see the President stand up and loudly make that case.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are no Christians in ISIS. There are no Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Taoists, Houngans, Catholics, Wiccans, Hindus or even Scientologists in ISIS. ISIS is a Muslim organisation and they kill in the name of Islam.

He should have added that there are also no Shia Muslims in ISIS.
posted by colie at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2015 [8 favorites]




Paris Attacks Live Updates: French Authorities Identify Key Players
Citing two sources close to the investigation in Paris, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports that officials believe Salim Benghalem, a French national who joined ISIS several years ago, directed Abdelhamid Abaaoud, an ISIS deputy and a Belgian national, to orchestrate Friday's rampage. The two men are believed to be in Syria.<>
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:22 AM on November 16, 2015


Are these states also going to be refusing French nationals who live in Belgium, since those are the people we actually know are responsible for the tragedies in Paris?

With the fake passports, the terrorists couldn't be more transparent if they left a note claiming responsibility signed "The Syrian Refugees"... and these idiot governors are still playing into it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:26 AM on November 16, 2015 [7 favorites]




via ABC: Florida joins Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Alabama and Texas in refusing to accept Syrian refugees
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on November 16, 2015


For what it's worth, Iowa's asshole governor has said that he's concerned about Syrian refugees coming to Iowa, but he doesn't have any constitutional authority to stop them. Which is not exactly a welcoming gesture, but he's not pandering as baldly as some other governors are.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:13 AM on November 16, 2015


The Attacks in Paris Reveal the Strategic Limits of ISIS
But ISIS’ reach is bounded; there are no more areas in which it can extend by claiming to be a defender of Sunni Arab populations. To the north, there are Kurds; to the east, Iraqi Shiites; to the west, Alawites, now protected by the Russians. And all are resisting it. To the south, neither the Lebanese, who worry about the influx of Syrian refugees, nor the Jordanians, who are still reeling from the horrid execution of one of their pilots, nor the Palestinians have succumbed to any fascination for ISIS. Stalled in the Middle East, ISIS is rushing headlong into globalized terrorism.

The attack against Hezbollah in Beirut, the attack against the Russians in Sharm el Sheikh and the attacks in Paris had the same goal: terror. But just as the execution of the Jordanian pilot sparked patriotism among even the heterogeneous population of Jordan, the attacks in Paris will turn the battle against ISIS into a national cause. ISIS will hit the same wall as Al Qaeda: Globalized terrorism is no more effective, strategically, than conducting aerial bombings without forces on the ground. Much like Al Qaeda, ISIS has no support among the Muslim people living in Europe. It recruits only at the margins.

The question now is how to translate into action the outrage sparked by Friday’s attacks in Paris. A massive ground operation by Western forces, like the one conducted in Afghanistan in 2001, seems out of the question, if only because an international intervention would get mired in endless local conflicts. A coordinated offensive by local powers seems unlikely, given the differences among their goals and ulterior motives: It would require striking a political agreement among regional actors, starting with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

So the road ahead is long, unless ISIS suddenly collapses under the vanity of its own expansionist aspirations or tensions between its foreign recruits and local Arab populations. In any event, ISIS is its own worst enemy.
posted by gwint at 11:15 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, Iowa's asshole governor has said that he's concerned about Syrian refugees coming to Iowa, but he doesn't have any constitutional authority to stop them. Which is not exactly a welcoming gesture, but he's not pandering as baldly as some other governors are.

"I'm a racist, but I'm a powerless racist."
posted by Etrigan at 11:15 AM on November 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


Basically, yes. Or rather "I'm a racist, but I'm an honest racist." I'm pretty sure that the other governors are also aware that they can't prevent refugees from settling in their states.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:16 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Via: France also wants the immediate adoption of the controversial Passenger Name Records (PNR) system for planes, trains and ships which has long been blocked by the data protection lobby which objects to the bulk collection of so much information as contrary to the Lisbon Treaty.

The demand for the use of PNR includes not only for external entries, but also for intra-EU travel, a move that would require new European legislation in order to force passenger carriers to turn over data.

posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:16 AM on November 16, 2015




via ABC: Florida joins Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Alabama and Texas in refusing to accept Syrian refugees

First - the Supreme Court has already and *repeatedly* determined that illegal aliens are mostly protected by the 14th Amendment. Legal ones, like refugees that have been properly admitted to the US? They have all the 14th Amendment rights. Include that of FREE TRAVEL BETWEEN THE STATES.

So, all of them can just suck it.

Second - Bruce Rauner is the worst governor Illinois has had in decades. Note that two of those governors went to prison. He's still managed to outsuck them all.

Three - Jesus fuck GOP, you said France was the enemy.

Finally -- isn't it amazing just how cowardly Republican governors are? Seriously. Cowards. All of them.
posted by eriko at 11:22 AM on November 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


Some semi-random thoughts (from a former soldier):
War encompasses atrocities. We, many of us, like to think that we can have a "civilized" war with someone, without all the horror of innocents being killed but that is a fiction.

When we dropped an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities it was an atrocity.
When the Allies firebombed Dresden that was an atrocity.
When we carpet bombed Vietnam that was an atrocity.

I am NOT saying that the US, as a matter of policy, commits atrocities. Nor am I saying that any of the above was not necessary (arguably, I know) . What I am trying to say, and very likely badly, that atrocities are part and parcel of warfare. Innocents die. Always. We try to minimize it. We try to nor make it a matter of policy, such as Daesh does, but horrible, horrid things will happen to a great many people should we go to war. Anyone who does not understand this - or the unfortunate, horrible, unavoidable necessity of this - is a dilettante calling plays from the sidelines.

If diplomacy fails, and frankly I do not see how it can succeed with Daesh, then we are going to be left with war and war will not be neat and clean no matter how smart our bombs are purported to be. Civilians will die. Women and children will die. It will take decades before all the anger subsides. This is what war is.

As more time goes by and Daesh continues to posture and attack I am left with the awful fear that there will be no other choice but to actually go to war.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:30 AM on November 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


I am left with the awful fear that there will be no other choice but to actually go to war.

Everybody used to say that about Al Qaeda as well 15 years ago. The current mood will pass. Probably more people die in a month globally in road accidents than have ever been killed by non-state sponsored terror. Certainly 27,000 children die every day from preventable diseases according to the WHO.
posted by colie at 11:34 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everybody used to say that about Al Qaeda as well 15 years ago. The current mood will pass.

Except it didn't pass about Al Qaeda, because we did go to war.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




Except it didn't pass about Al Qaeda, because we did go to war.

The Onion was rather (sadly) prescient on this question.

Three - Jesus fuck GOP, you said France was the enemy.

Yeah, watching from north of the border here, my first thought as the gubernatorial proclamations issued forth was, "Um, just over a decade ago they could have sold attacks on France to a certain slice of their constituency, no? Now it's solidarity? I mean, come the fuck on."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:41 AM on November 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


First - the Supreme Court has already and *repeatedly* determined that illegal aliens are mostly protected by the 14th Amendment. Legal ones, like refugees that have been properly admitted to the US? They have all the 14th Amendment rights. Include that of FREE TRAVEL BETWEEN THE STATES.

So, all of them can just suck it.


At the same time, a hostile state government can put up a lot of practical barriers to the actions of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations working with refugee resettlement, as well as hinder or block the actions of state agencies. I'm not sure how far you can go before you are in violation of the constitution, but I am sure that will be tested repeatedly.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:43 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




Goddammit, we're infectious.
posted by Etrigan at 11:48 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


my first thought as the gubernatorial proclamations issued forth was, "Um, just over a decade ago they could have sold attacks on France to a certain slice of their constituency, no? Now it's solidarity? I mean, come the fuck on."

The thing that's been making me spit tacks is that a lot of people are retweeting a picture of the Eiffel Tower decorated with the American Flag taken in September of 2001 as some kind of "we need to show solidarity with the French since they did that for us" kind of thing. I mean, okay, anyone playing the 9/11 card as an emotional trigger is a sort of berserk button for me anyway, but in this case I also get all livid about "so where was this solidarity in 2003 where you were going all Freedom-Fries-cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys all the time, goddammit...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:48 AM on November 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


Today a lady in her early 60s, born right after WW2, with all its horrors particularly fresh in the minds of the Finns who lost much that they were eating bark off the trees, said that we are already in WW3 but refuse to acknowledge it like an alcoholic who thinks they're just being social.

For context and history
posted by infini at 11:49 AM on November 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


I see that the governors worried about the terrorized being terrorists are continuing the long-standing tradition of selectively applying American rhetoric, not in favor of people who are bemelanined.
posted by qcubed at 11:50 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


because we did go to war.

But we did emphatically not *have* to go to war. In fact the entire thing was a lie and a farce and a tragedy and a disaster. As it will be this time.

"we need to show solidarity with the French since they did that for us" kind of thing.


I may get flamed here, but I think at the time the reaction of many young French people to 9/11 and 7/7 was a pretty understandable 'meh, you had it coming.'
posted by colie at 11:51 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll be damned, Nikki Haley is showing some intestinal fortitude. Good on her.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:52 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


A stopped clock....
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:53 AM on November 16, 2015


Goddammit, we're infectious.

Well, we also have a vacuum for the leadership of the right end of our federal spectrum at the moment, so Mr. Wall might be seeing this as his opportunity to stake his claim and begin his positioning.
posted by nubs at 11:53 AM on November 16, 2015


Regardless of what you think about this one, here's a testament to the raw emotional power of the political cartoon.

Charlie Hebdo: "The French go back to their regular lives."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:01 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


AP - US says it destroyed 116 Islamic State fuel trucks
The U.S. military says it destroyed 116 fuel trucks in Syria used by the Islamic State as part of a smuggling operation that brings the group at least $1 million a day.

The strike was the first of its kind in more than a year of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. U.S. officials previously had said they avoided attacking fuel trucks out of concern for civilian casualties.
posted by rosswald at 12:02 PM on November 16, 2015


So it was a funky weekend; my roommate is Belgian, and has friends who were in Paris (they're okay). She's been in an odd state of mind all weekend (perfectly understandable, of course), and I've been treading carefully. And I've also been talking for a couple months prior to this about "whee I'm going to be going to Paris in December", and periodically I get people asking me now, "um....are you still...y'know, doing that?"

But the idea of not going never occurred to me. And fortunately my parents are down with that too - this weekend, my father said that "you know, Paris is probably going to be one of the safest places in the world to visit for the next couple months."

However, a few moments later my father said something about how bombing the hell out of Syria was probably the only way we would be able to stop the ISIS attacks, which is the most hawk-like thing I've ever heard him say. He heard me hem and haw in my shock, and apologized and said "okay, no politics, sorry," and we dropped it. But if the most progressive member of my family is in favor of all-out attacks on Syria, then I am REALLY not looking forward to the conversations around the Thanksgiving dinner table when we have my right-wing and full-on Tea Party relatives chiming in as well.

Then again, me whining about conversational discomfort is nothing like actually living through an attack so I end up also feeling like a schmuck for even talking about this.

Oh, this world.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some reflexion - John Pilger on ISIS: Only When We See the War Criminals In Our Midst Will the Blood Begin to Dry.
posted by adamvasco at 12:15 PM on November 16, 2015


Our responses to terrorism are based on rage and fear. Because of this, terrorism works.
posted by growabrain at 12:16 PM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Our responses to terrorism are based on rage and fear. Because of this, terrorism works.

So, this is a thing that just happened:

Peterborough mosque arson is suspected hate crime

But, also:

Peterborough churches offer space to arson-stricken mosque
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:19 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wisconsin and New Hampshire join the list of asshole states.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:21 PM on November 16, 2015


[One comment deleted. Charlie Hebdo is its own whole incredibly contentious subject, and it will be better not to start a snowball rolling downhill in that direction.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nikki Haley is showing some intestinal fortitude.

First she removes the Confederate flag, then she continues to accept refugees. If she's not careful she's going to be kicked out of the Republican Party for having actual compassion.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:29 PM on November 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm literally shaking with rage thinking about the anti-refugee statements coming from our politicians and citizens. Many of whom, in a few weeks, are going to have mangers in their front yards, mangers that symbolize when a refugee family, who had nowhere else to go, were accepted by foreigners, and allowed to peacefully sleep for the night, so their god, and religion, could be born.
posted by gwint at 12:53 PM on November 16, 2015 [44 favorites]


[One deleted; maybe let's sort of nudge this away from the state-by-state US domestic politics focus?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:55 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Watching creeping racist reactionary neo-fascism unfold slowly across the world is tearing my heart in two for the victims, and with fear for the world as a whole.

All I can do is cling to my hope that there is something better in humanity than these two human-hating sides that seem to be drawing us into vortex of destruction with their genocidal tango. My fear is that even though there is something better in all of us, it isn't going to win.

I have been thinking about these issues the past few weeks, especially with regard to the rising neo-reactionaries in Europe, and I see hope (the counter-Pegida protests, for example). But then I see the small shitstains like the majority of the Republican governors playing political games with people's suffering (not that I should be surprised). I worry that we (humanists/leftists, etc...) just don't have a game plan and we have nothing but empty words (sincerly held, but still... ineffective). My biggest hope is that our propaganda of love can win over the deeds of hate.

Fucking MINISTERS/PREACHERS had better start preaching compassion and love. Any center-right minister needs to fucking step up their game and push this message onto waffling right-wing politicians so they get their heads in check. Assuming they go to any moderately compassionate church (like I did while growing up - like many right-wingers like to believe they are).
posted by symbioid at 12:56 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


>> via ABC: Florida joins Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Michigan, Alabama and Texas in refusing to accept Syrian refugees

> "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


There's some sickening irony in the thought that those words form the foundation of a gift of admiration from France, and today France's tragedy is being used to undermine them.
posted by Westringia F. at 1:09 PM on November 16, 2015 [20 favorites]






There was opposition in Britain, some of it quite spittle-flecked, to the idea of taking in Jewish children fleeing Nazi Germany. German children were the ENEMY, dammit.

Plus ça change.
posted by tel3path at 1:49 PM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Saskatchewan Premier calls for Syrian refugee plan to be suspended

The 2014 and 2012 terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Montreal were perpetrated by Canadian-born Canadian citizens. That Saskatoon is a loon, if he thinks stirring up fear is realistically helping make things safer for his constituents.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:04 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Spotted on a friend's facebook feed, and something that he (and then I) reposted from someone else:

"If only we had a seasonally appropriate story about Middle Eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:06 PM on November 16, 2015 [38 favorites]


I just wrote an email to Scott Walker (even though I know they're not allowed to deny refugees) asking him to check his moral compass. Though I did it from a Christian perspective (ha!) using Bible Verses, along with a little "realpolitik" (yes, I know - there may be terrorists, I'm not saying just open the flood gates), combined with a quote from Declaration of Independence (suffering while evils are sufferable), logic (hey - this is what ISIS wants!) and more Jesus-y love your neighbor bible quotes (and one of those don't be ruled by a spirit of fear, ya schmuck verses).

It's too long to really be read by a politician and so, like 99% (all?) of these letters I expect it to be glanced over by the working stiffs, and quick "thanks for your letter. bye" message, never reaching his eyeballs, but I felt compelled to do it, because if I didn't?

I don't have a lot of answers or know what to do, but I know I can do some small act of conscience in trying to speak truth to power as the power's yes-men block the voice out.
posted by symbioid at 2:15 PM on November 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Again, the goal of terrorists is to inspire terror, because that’s all they’re capable of. And the most important thing our societies can do in response is to refuse to give in to fear.
posted by growabrain at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


That Saskatoon is a loon, if he thinks stirring up fear is realistically helping make things safer for his constituents.

I think safety is a ways down his list of considerations right now; we're into the posturing, posing and politicking end of things. Where reality is no match for the illusions that need to be spun to ensure that public perceptions are influenced in the "right" directions.
posted by nubs at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, okay, anyone playing the 9/11 card as an emotional trigger is a sort of berserk button for me anyway, but in this case I also get all livid about "so where was this solidarity in 2003 where you were going all Freedom-Fries-cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys all the time, goddammit...."

Yes, that is a very good observation. I feel the same way. They were trying to save us from ourselves and some Americans spit in their face.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:47 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Local, SE - Swedish city 'is largest recruiting ground for Isis' - Gothenburg, in western Sweden is, per capita, the European city from which most people have joined Islamic extremist groups, according to Swedish integration police chief, Ulf Boström.
posted by rosswald at 4:11 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


and something that he (and then I) reposted from someone else:

That would be MeFi's own (from way back in the day) owillis.
posted by holgate at 4:13 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is why we pass the hat around this time of the year. To be part of such a longstanding community of humans.
posted by infini at 4:28 PM on November 16, 2015


There was another ISIS inspired attack in 2014 by another person born in Quebec (just south of Montreal) a couple days before the Ottawa shooting.

The Metropolis shooting (Montreal in 2012) wasn't ISIS related as far as I know.

As for Paris ... abasourdi ... is the only word that fits me.
posted by phoque at 4:30 PM on November 16, 2015




Apparently, Nikki Haley changed her mind. Ugh.
posted by symbioid at 4:32 PM on November 16, 2015


The hawking I've seen on Facebook from across the political spectrum is making this feel, anecdotally, like the lead-up to the Iraq War. It's a sick sort of feeling, like pressing your tongue against a loose tooth.
posted by codacorolla at 4:34 PM on November 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Local, SE - Swedish city 'is largest recruiting ground for Isis' [...]

Sweden needs to look a bit closer to home: Israel condemns ‘hostile’ Swedish comments linking Paris attacks to Israeli-Palestinian conflict
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:37 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The hawking I've seen on Facebook...

And this is the exact strategy, according to Nicolas Hénin:

With their news and social media interest, they will be noting everything that follows their murderous assault on Paris, and my guess is that right now the chant among them will be “We are winning”. They will be heartened by every sign of overreaction, of division, of fear, of racism, of xenophobia; they will be drawn to any examples of ugliness on social media.

Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned towards finding supporting evidence. The pictures from Germany of people welcoming migrants will have been particularly troubling to them. Cohesion, tolerance – it is not what they want to see.

Why France? For many reasons perhaps, but I think they identified my country as a weak link in Europe – as a place where divisions could be sown easily. That’s why, when I am asked how we should respond, I say that we must act responsibly.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:41 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The media war drums are going full tilt.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:44 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It feels more like the run up to Afghanistan to me.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:49 PM on November 16, 2015 [6 favorites]




Best president ever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


He does seem to be doing a pretty good job of refusing to be goaded into rash actions in Syria. Before this, he had to fend off the neocon "omg putin is EMASCULATING u!" meme making the rounds in the media, and I hope that he will see the country through this, as well.

His underlings, on the other hand, have wasted little time in trying to cynically exploit this tragedy to further their agenda of outlawing online privacy.
posted by indubitable at 5:27 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, Obama is good at not doing things rashly and reflexively - he always has been. He tends to make considered choices when it comes to global foreign policy, but ones that are still middle-centrist and potentially disastrous and far-reaching. So no, I don't think this warrants special praise.
posted by naju at 5:39 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




“Please, Do Not Let Paris Be Another 9/11,” Micah Bales, Sojourners, 16 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 6:14 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




I don't get it, the combined efforts of an Arab colition, Russia, France and Germany could wipe these bastards out quicker then it would be to assemble.

Everyone wants to attack them (those that don't seem to just mouth perjoritives and hand ring) and yet they grow.
I think France is making the case for war, treating the little bastards to some state backed heavy offense.
posted by clavdivs at 7:46 PM on November 16, 2015


Here's the "third article" from The Atlantic, which turns out to not be from The Atlantic: Conversation w/Haykel in ThinkProgress.

There's also this third article ("What Muslims Really Want") from the Atlantic (which is the one I thought you were originally talking about). It's a counterpoint to the original (apologies if it's already been linked somewhere here and I missed it).
posted by triggerfinger at 8:46 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


the combined efforts of an Arab colition, Russia, France and Germany could wipe these bastards out quicker then it would be to assemble.

In the good old days, armies would assemble at a particular place, at a particular time, and bash at each other until somebody had won. Then they stopped meeting up, but at least they agreed that the winner was the side that won a particular battle. Then they stopped doing that, but at least they agreed that the winner was the side nation that ended up in possession of the other team's territory. Nation's territory.

Now we have enemies that won't meet up, won't form a battle formation, and surge in and out of the places you're attacking so that you kill more of the locals than the opposition enemy. These in-surgers are hard to fight and hard to kill in quantity, so we're reduced to picking them off with very expensive drones. And they have a loose leadership structure so we're basically defeating hundreds of armies, one at a time.

So yes, our teams armies could undoubtedly liberate any amount of territory that they chose, and they would declare victory for just as long at it took for one of the cheering, liberated villagers to don a suicide vest and blow up a checkpoint. At which point we would get a new captain leader who would announce that it was time to End the Occupation, and our armies would march out in triumph, leaving the in-surgers in possession of the field, the goals, and all our kit.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:52 PM on November 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


I don't get it, the combined efforts of an Arab colition, Russia, France and Germany could wipe these bastards out quicker then it would be to assemble.


from gwint's link upthread:

The main actors in the Middle East deem other enemies to be more important. Bashar al-Assad’s main adversary is the Syrian opposition — now also the main target of Russia, which supports him. Mr. Assad would indeed benefit from there being nothing between him and ISIS: That would allow him to cast himself as the last bastion against Islamist terrorism, and to reclaim in the eyes of the West the legitimacy he lost by so violently repressing his own people.

The Turkish government is very clear: Its main enemy is Kurdish separatism. And a victory of Syrian Kurds over ISIS might allow the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., to gain a sanctuary, and resume its armed struggle against Turkey.

The Kurds, be they Syrian or Iraqi, seek not to crush ISIS so much as to defend their newfound borders. They hope the Arab world will become more divided than ever. They want to seize Sinjar because it is in a Kurdish area. But they won’t attack Mosul, because that would be playing into Baghdad’s hands.

For the Kurds of Iraq, the main danger is seeing a strong central government emerge in Baghdad, for it could challenge the de facto independence of Iraqi Kurdistan today. ISIS stands in the way of the creation of any such power.

The Shiites of Iraq, no matter what pressure they face from America, do not seem ready to die to reclaim Falluja. They will defend sectarian borders, and will never let Baghdad fall. But they are in no hurry to bring the Sunni minority back into Iraq’s political mainstream; if they did, they would have to share power with it.

For the Saudis, the main enemy isn’t ISIS, which represents a form of Sunni radicalism they have always supported. So they do nothing against it, their main enemy being Iran.

The Iranians, for their part, want to contain ISIS but not necessarily to destroy it: Its very existence prevents the return of the kind of Arab Sunni coalition that gave them such trouble during their war with Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Then there is Israel, which can only be pleased to see Hezbollah fighting Arabs, Syria collapsing, Iran mired in an uncertain war and everyone forgetting the Palestinian cause.

posted by progosk at 10:09 PM on November 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


>I don't get it, the combined efforts of an Arab colition, Russia, France and Germany could wipe these bastards out quicker ...

The Russians like Assad and support him and his Syrian regime in order to maintain a foothold in the middle east. Kinda sorta the way that we support Israel. Been that way for a very long time and for several regimes. If we destroy ISIS and their footholds we make Assad stronger and hence the Russian presence there stronger. We can't take out both ISIS and Assad because .... world war III at worst or Vietnam II at best (with Russians replacing Chinese).

We can't just take out ISIS in Iraq because that would mean lots of boots on the ground there and that didn't turn out very well for anyone last time we did that. Oh and the locals are not fighting against ISIS by and large and they can't seem to be motivated to do so - they are either continuing their lives under ISIS rule (because freedom western-style hasn't really been a thing to lose one's life over for centuries now in that region) - or they are fleeing to Europe.

It's a royal shit show.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:13 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


March 26, 2003
posted by growabrain at 10:24 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Then there is Israel, which can only be pleased to see Hezbollah fighting Arabs, Syria collapsing, Iran mired in an uncertain war and everyone forgetting the Palestinian cause.

A similar accusation was made when Hosni Mubarak's government in Egypt was collapsing. It's a stupid, conspiratorial accusation that simply doesn't make any sense. Israel had had a cold peace with Syria for decades; UN troops occupied a permanent buffer zone between the nations; things were stable. Now it has chaos, and insurgency, and Hezbollah is free to attack on its Syrian border as well as its Lebanese one. Of course this is not what Israel wants.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:49 PM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huckabee has told Fox News radio Syrians shouldn’t be brought to Minnesota because it’s cold.

“Can you imagine bringing in a bunch of Syrian refugees who’ve lived in the desert their whole lives that are suddenly thrown into an English speaking community? WHere it’s maybe in Minnesota where it is 20 degrees below zero? I mean I just don’t understand what we possibly can be thinking.”

Huckabee’s concern for the warmth of refugees followed comments he made in another Fox interview, that “it’s time to wake up and smell the felafel” and that the US is “importing terrorism.”


It's like they read the story of the good Samaritan and think the heroes were the guys who left him to die.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:03 PM on November 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


Now we have enemies that won't meet up, won't form a battle formation, and surge in and out of the places you're attacking so that you kill more of the locals than the enemy.

That was Vietnam.
posted by colie at 11:12 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


“Paris Attacks Give Rise to Fakes and Misinformation,” Katie Rogers, The New York Times, 16 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 11:30 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


ob1quixote: "“Paris Attacks Give Rise to Fakes and Misinformation,” Katie Rogers, The New York Times, 16 November 2015"

This should be added to the Breaking News Handbook mentioned above. I mean, really.
posted by chavenet at 1:58 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


How a bar owner in Brussels became a suicide bomber
Two weeks ago, the mayor of Molenbeek ordered the closure of a neighborhood bar where Brussels police had found young men dealing drugs and smoking dope over the summer.

Last Friday, the owner blew himself up at another laid-back corner cafe, this time in Paris, on a mission of retribution from Islamic State.


Two weeks is a helluva short time to get radicalised into a suicide bomber. Either this dude has been in deep cover for a while or whoever organised this has some Kaa level hypnotic powers.
posted by PenDevil at 2:34 AM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Let's skip the argument about if the French deserve safety or liberty.]
posted by taz at 2:51 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Two weeks is a helluva short time to get radicalised into a suicide bomber.

He stepped aside as manager nearly two years ago, in December 2013. He was a part owner, but very likely didn't work behind the bar.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:24 AM on November 17, 2015


PenDevil: How a bar owner in Brussels became a suicide bomber
[⋮]
Two weeks is a helluva short time to get radicalised into a suicide bomber. Either this dude has been in deep cover for a while or whoever organised this has some Kaa level hypnotic powers.
Rachel Maddow's A-Block last night was about the ringleader. He's been behind several of these attacks in France this year, and known to the authorities since at least Charlie Hebdo.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:52 AM on November 17, 2015


Today's CH cover: On les emmerde. On a le champagne!
posted by progosk at 4:07 AM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Today's CH cover: On les emmerde. On a le champagne!
Note that the cover is by Coco, the cartoonist who was forced by the CH killers to open the building, and then watched her friends being gunned down.
posted by elgilito at 4:53 AM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pennsylvania will accept Syrian refugees

Continuing a tradition of being welcoming to people fleeing their home countries to build a new life. (thanks, MonkeyToes)
posted by Drinky Die at 5:29 AM on November 17, 2015


GOP governors are really just horrible, horrible people
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:35 AM on November 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


Spiegel is kind of implying the Paris attack may be the card that tips the hand to Putin.

Putin Plan: The Russian President's Strategy for Syria
posted by bukvich at 6:52 AM on November 17, 2015


NPR factchecks and debunks some news around the attacks, including the PS4 article I posted (I apologize).
posted by divabat at 7:06 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Yes, Obama is good at not doing things rashly and reflexively - he always has been. He tends to make considered choices when it comes to global foreign policy, but ones that are still middle-centrist and potentially disastrous and far-reaching. So no, I don't think this warrants special praise.

Miss Me Yet?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:23 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


NPR factchecks and debunks some news around the attacks, including the PS4 article I posted (I apologize).

Heh, my goal for threads like this is to do the best I can to only link accurate news...but to also be the first to post the correction if I mess it up. That's all anybody can ask in this kind of chaos.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:26 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here we fucking go again: Raqqa
Activists say abandoned ISIL bases hit in city suburbs with no civilians or fighters as France carries out air strikes.
posted by adamvasco at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2015


There have been reports for awhile that the Raqqa base was actually abandoned, but that AJ article mentions ISIL fighters being killed at checkpoints which I hadn't seen
posted by rosswald at 7:57 AM on November 17, 2015


I'm trying to track down an article, but wasn't it news, like 10+ years ago, that terrorists were bulk purchasing Playstation 2s to try and network through? Or was that also a bogus story that managed to hit the airwaves?
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:41 AM on November 17, 2015


In the early 2000s some people were worried that Playstation's graphics chip could be used to control missiles, is that what you're thinking of?
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2015


Add Maryland's Gov. Hogan to the list of idiots.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:32 AM on November 17, 2015


Passengers removed from BWI flight (reuters.com). Reason: being brown, looking at something arabic
posted by sidereal at 9:34 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]




Because naturally if you were a terrorist who was going to, like, blow up a plane, and you were trying to do this in a climate of heightened security, you would of course be watching an Islamic State video on your laptop immediately before springing into action.
posted by Frowner at 10:14 AM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


By the way, Charlie Pierce can fuck right off with this horseshit. I'm trying to read his argument as something other than "bigotry from Governors I like is okay, bigotry from Governors I don't like isn't", but that's about all he's got. His line about trusting the government to do its job is particularly silly given that he understands that Governors have no legal right to interfere with immigration policy, and his attempt to differentiate between the law and the politics is a distinction I doubt he'd be making if it didn't involve officials he apparently has some kind of Bush-Putin soul-level bond with.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:19 AM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Because naturally if you were a terrorist who was going to, like, blow up a plane, and you were trying to do this in a climate of heightened security, you would of course be watching an Islamic State video on your laptop immediately before springing into action.

So shortly after 7/7 a coworker of mine confided to me in hushed tones "There were some Muslim teenagers in traditional dress on the subway this morning and they looked nervous. I was getting worried."

I said something like "That's probably because some lady was staring at them like an asshole."

She didn't talk to me for quite a while after that.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:15 AM on November 17, 2015 [31 favorites]


Germany-Netherlands football match in Hannover cancelled, stadium being evacuated. RT/AFP, ABC/AP
posted by rosswald at 11:18 AM on November 17, 2015


Does this mean I won't be able to watch any more Unexpected Spongebob Jihad videos on the bus any more? They're winning!
posted by colie at 11:23 AM on November 17, 2015


Germany-Netherlands football match in Hannover cancelled, stadium being evacuated.

So they haven't learned anything? The assholes sent three bombers to the Stade specifically so the latter two could catch crowds evacuating.
posted by Etrigan at 11:32 AM on November 17, 2015


Sky News - Germany's match against the Netherlands was called off after information suggesting a bomb attack was planned in the city, according to German police.

Hanover's police chief Volker Kluwe told Germany's NDR television station a "concrete threat against the whole of Hanover" had been uncovered.

He said the information concerned an explosives attack.

The stadium in Hanover was evacuated about an hour and a half before kick off.

Spectators who had already arrived at the HDI-Arena were told to calmly leave the area via loudspeaker.

Shorlty before the game was called off, police officers cordoned off an area outside the stadium after finding a suspicious object.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other government ministers were due to attend the match to send a signal that Germany would not bow to terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks.
posted by rosswald at 11:35 AM on November 17, 2015


Captagon: the amphetamine fuelling Syria's civil war

The drug, widely used in the Middle East but unknown elsewhere, is keeping fighters on their feet during gruelling battles and generating money for more weapons
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2015


Well thank goodness they found it before anyone was hurt.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2015


Interesting article from Mehdi Hasan pointing out that when the Russian plane went down, media pundits explicitly said that it was 'a direct consequence of [Russia’s] involvement in Syria' , but such talk is strictly verboten about France.
posted by colie at 12:22 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]




“NYT Quietly Pulls Article Blaming Encryption in Paris Attacks,” Giuseppe Macri, Inside Sources, 16 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Game was apparently cancelled 2 1/2 hours before kickoff when German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere received what he considered concrete evidence of an attack. According to the Hanover Chief of Police, they found "a device intended to be detonate." (Stated at press conference)

Shortly after, they stopped the trains when they found a suspicious package in the train station. (Stated at press conference)

There are reports, but no official confirmation, that a truck bomb was found disguised as an ambulance (rumor)

DFB official confirms that German national team was on the way to the stadium and turned around. The Netherlands national team hadn't left yet. (Widely reported as an official statement, but I don't have a link to the actual statement. Not significant enough to worry much.)

The truck bomb rumor is, frankly, kind of scary if true. You get a few thousand people in the streets, turn on the siren, drive slowly through them as they get out of the way, then bad things happen. However, people have tried that before, and an ambulance just showing up will get police attention almost immediately. (my commentary)
posted by eriko at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Props to Minister de Maiziere for making a difficult call. This is football, this is *life* to a lot of people, and GER-NED is a big deal game, even as a friendly, they're arguably two of the best national teams in the world, and Germany is the current World Cup champion.
posted by eriko at 12:39 PM on November 17, 2015




The truck bomb rumor is, frankly, kind of scary if true.

Only one news outlet has reported it. Also, the story seems too similar to this one that was trending a couple of hours ago on BBC News.
posted by popcassady at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2015


The interior minister for Lower Saxony on record with no arrests as of now and cannot confirm ambulance bomb. (Grauniad report.)

According to the German news service DPA, the information about a potential attack today came from a "foreign intelligence service." (Guardian again, reporting a DPA report.)

This is some fucked up bullshit (me, just now.)


I've limited myself to one "Grauniad" joke per FPP.
posted by eriko at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


DW Sports has several reporters in the area and at the press conference, their twitter is here.

According to Pistorius, "Contrary to reports, no arrests have been made and no explosives have been found."

Hopefully that remains true -- well, the explosives part -- but it's odd that the Hanover Chief of Police is on record as "Yes" and the Lower Saxony Interior Minister is now on record with "No."
posted by eriko at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2015


Intensifying pressure on the Islamic State, United States warplanes for the first time attacked hundreds of trucks on Monday that the extremist group has been using to smuggle the crude oil it has been producing in Syria, American officials said.

(Please excuse my delayed reaction to this which was posted upthread yesterday. Imagine I'm Jon Stewart spinning in his chair doing that "whaaaat?" head-exploding schtick, before being able to articulate...)

Ok... they just figured this out? Really? All this time analyzing data in Quantico or Ft Meade or Langley, or wherever... and this week the penny dropped?

"URGENT - NEED TO KNOW BASIS ONLY: If ISIS can't sell oil, they will have LESS MONEY for stuff!"

I'm effing stunned. Someone please explain why this wasn't a logical step years ago.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:54 PM on November 17, 2015


They were too busy figuring out if we were in Target looking at baby diapers or that document we sent would impact trade negotiations.
posted by infini at 12:56 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


As much as I hate to link to DoD, their official page for Operation Inherent Resolve points out there have been hundreds of attacks on oil supplies.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:01 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the same article, Artful Codger:

Until Monday, the United States refrained from striking the fleet used to transport oil, believed to include more than 1,000 tanker trucks, because of concerns about causing civilian casualties.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:02 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


"URGENT - NEED TO KNOW BASIS ONLY: If ISIS can't sell oil, they will have LESS MONEY for stuff!"

I'm effing stunned. Someone please explain why this wasn't a logical step years ago.


Well, the exact reason is civilian casualties. The US has, in fact, been attacking the oil infrastructure for months, but held off on directly attacking the trucks because of the fear of civilian casualties. Now, they've decided they need to clamp down harder on the flow, and, as in most cases when war is involved, civilians be damned. Do note the date on this article -- 13-Nov-2015, citing an article written 12-Nov-2015. You know, before the Paris attacks.

Anybody saying the US hadn't been attacking ISIS oil production is flat out lying. The US didn't attack the trucks, but did attack lots of other parts of the infrastructure. Now they are also attacking the trucks and other vehicles.
posted by eriko at 1:02 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


That said, a very smart* man has written a very serious and well-thought out military plan for how to defeat ISIS, if only someone would listen.

he has also spent a lot of time angrily tweeting about why no one will engage with his plan on a serious level.


*or not
posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


France invokes Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty that created the European Union.
7. If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.
This is the first time the article's provisions have been invoked.
posted by eriko at 1:07 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


That said, a very smart* man has written a very serious and well-thought out military plan for how to defeat ISIS, if only someone would listen.

And I would click that exactly why? Comic relief? To induce vomiting? Because I've lost the will to live? Because death is not a release?

(Not snarking on you, Your Phlegmatic Majesty.)
posted by eriko at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


ISIS Meth Heads: Tweeking In the Name of Islam

Several reports in August 2014 claimed that ISIS was receiving large revenues by manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine at pharmaceutical manufacturing labs they seized in Aleppo. The Aleppo plants contained the chemicals and equipment necessary to make high grade product.

Not only is ISIS trafficking drugs to help finance the war, they are giving Captagon and other drugs to their fighters to increase endurance and feelings of invincibility.

posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2015


For pointing and laughing purposes, here's a wingnut-fanfic-to-English translation of Kurt Schlicter's very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:14 PM on November 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


To the extent that Western nations are targeting ISIS oil revenues, I wonder if the drug traffic bolsters the idea of treating ISIS terrorists more like a criminal entity, and less like a political or cultural phenomenon. It's hard to fight a war of hearts and minds against people we've been bombing and coup-ing for decades, but gangsters have a difficult time operating without money.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:14 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jerry Pournelle chimes in...
posted by mikelieman at 1:15 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


France invokes Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty that created the European Union.

I find it interesting that they haven't invoked the NATO treaty, which would require Turkey's assistance.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:25 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


That said, a very smart* man has written a very serious and well-thought out military plan for how to defeat ISIS, if only someone would listen.

Wow. That's just… sumthin'.
posted by mazola at 1:27 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Submitted without comment, someone's argument against Texas accepting Syrian refugees.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Right wing fantasies about Rubio/Cruz wiping out ISIS single handed with complete disregard for civilian life aside . . . Maybe we should think about what an international coalition would look like against ISIS. I question how hemmed in their caliphate truly is. And whether or not they are stable in their current domain or have feasible plans to expand further, they are well funded and well trained and are now demonstrating a sophisticated ability to strike at will in multiple international settings. (In the past month, Paris, Lebanon, a Russian airliner and more.) They are not their own worst enemy if no one is willing to take their territory back from them (and also liberate those still surviving under their atrocious regime). And that would be a huge blow against them. If driven from the caliphate, where would they get the wherewithal to return and take it again?
posted by bearwife at 1:31 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, the exact reason [for not attacking oil tankers] is civilian casualties. The US has, in fact, been attacking the oil infrastructure for months, but held off on directly attacking the trucks because of the fear of civilian casualties. Now, they've decided they need to clamp down harder on the flow...

Ok... we reaallly reaallly hate ISIS, but it was OK if they sell some oil now and again, and receive arms shipments. Sure. Whatever.

I dunno. If we have drone weaponry that can target a bad guy in the upstairs john without damaging the downstairs rec room, you'd think we could also be pretty effective at reducing the oil shipments to about zero...

(I don't believe that "civilian casualties" is the reason for not stopping tankers, given that personal residences and MSF hospitals are in-bounds. Would like to know what the real reason is.)
posted by Artful Codger at 1:40 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


If drone warfare were anywhere near that accurate, why would we have such insanely high civilian casualty rate? I'm not sure I'm following the conspiracy.
posted by Think_Long at 1:51 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I don't believe that "civilian casualties" is the reason for not stopping tankers, given that MSF hospitals are in-bounds. Would like to know what the real reason is.)

Daesh is a useful bogeyman for certain segments of various world governments. That's one reason I suspect.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:53 PM on November 17, 2015


Some media reports are saying that the ringleader of these attacks was basically a lazy stoner. This already drifted off the Daily Mail front page and I think we'll hear less of it now since it actually humanises the enemy for most of us.
posted by colie at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2015


#NotAllLazyStoners
posted by vibrotronica at 2:09 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


WaPo -- One man’s hard lesson after the Eiffel Tower’s darkness was mistaken for a moving tribute:
The social media reaction to a tragedy is a spaghetti mess of many strands, some OK but most of them useless. There are positive elements (in intention, at least), such as the #porteouverte hashtag and the Facebook “Safety Check” in Paris -- though it remains to be seen how many people actually gained from these, either finding a place to stay or letting relatives know they were OK. (Also, it does trouble me that Facebook scored a PR win from Paris, furthering its agenda of becoming the de facto social identity of all humans, then monetizing this monopoly: if the Safety Check becomes a default state of affairs, is Facebook then responsible in some way for emergency responses; what are the implications when someone doesn’t post their safety status on Facebook and so on)

But the part that feels the most useless to me is people’s vicarious participation in the event, which on the ground is a horrible tragedy, but in cyberspace is flattened to a meme like any other. Millions of people with no connection to Paris or the victims mindlessly throw in their two cents: performative signaling purely for their own selfish benefit, spreading information that is often false and which they have not vetted at all, simply for the sake of making noise. If people wanted to be helpful, they would either be silent, or they would put in some — even minimal — effort to be thoughtful. First, they could spread useful and vetted information. And second, they could throw support behind a viewpoint they believe in, such as speaking out against politicians using the attacks to demonize Muslims or migrants, which is exactly what the murderers responsible for the Paris attacks want to provoke.

Instead of silence or helpfulness, social media pukes out stupidity, virtue-signaling and vicarious “enjoyment” (in a psychoanalytic sense) of a terrible tragedy by people thousands of miles away, for whom the event is just a meme they will participate in for a couple of days, then let fade into their timeline.
I couldn't pick just one part of that to quote. It resonated rather heavily with me.
posted by schmod at 2:36 PM on November 17, 2015 [21 favorites]


Jeb Bush: "You can prove you're a Christian."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:27 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


uggggggggggggggggggh
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:30 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jeb Bush: "You can prove you're a Christian."

Sorry Jeb, you've failed in the first round. Next!
posted by reynir at 3:42 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kasich Proposes New Government Agency To Promote Judeo-Christian Values

So, like, all of 2016 just became about "we hate Muslims or anyone who doesn't believe in the Bible."

Someone find me a martini please.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:56 PM on November 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jeb Bush: "You can prove you're a Christian."

We should have implemented something similar over here. "No entry unless you can prove you're a druid." It all went down hill after the Romans arrived.
posted by popcassady at 4:03 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


French media reporting in french that they used SMS to communicate. Y U no panopticon that, O mighty biggest data crunchers in the world?
posted by infini at 4:19 PM on November 17, 2015


Jeb Bush: "You can prove you're a Christian."

You know, in the absence of any context, I assumed "You can prove you're a Christian" meant "By taking in the stranger and traveller and giving them shelter and haven." and I was pretty surprised an impressed that Jeb Bush would say such a thing.

Anyway, back to being unsurprised and unimpressed by Jeb Bush.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2015 [13 favorites]




Jeb Bush: "You can prove you're a Christian."

Does every member of his family have to be a fucking fascist? Jesus.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:16 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Financial Times - Inside Isis Inc: The journey of a barrel of oil. Isis controls most of Syria’s oil fields and crude is the militant group's biggest single source of revenue. Here we follow the progress of a barrel of oil from extraction to end user to see how the Isis production system works, who is making money from it, and why it is proving so challenging to disrupt.


Reuters Exclusive - How Kurdistan bypassed Baghdad and sold oil on global markets. Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has for the first time detailed its secretive oil exports operations and said it plans to sell more, whether Baghdad likes it or not, as it needs money to survive and fight Islamic State.

The region's minister for natural resources, Ashti Hawrami, said that to avoid detection oil was often funneled through Israel, transferred directly between ships off the coast of Malta, and decoy ships used to make it harder for Baghdad to track.
posted by rosswald at 5:40 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


If drone warfare were anywhere near that accurate, why would we have such insanely high civilian casualty rate

You mean insanely low.

The WWII answer was to send 200 bombers loaded with incendiaries and just burn the city down. If the bad guy who's targeted to innocent civilian ratio is 10-1, it's at least two orders of magnitude better.

Seriously. Our answer used to be "burn it down, screw whoever is there." Drone warfare is positively polite in comparison.
posted by eriko at 5:48 PM on November 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


But what if, instead of comparing it to the bombing of Dresden, you compared it to NOT raining murder from the sky? You know, the kind of thing every human being should be able to reasonably expect, without constantly living in fear of death from above? How does it compare then?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:10 PM on November 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


(I don't believe that "civilian casualties" is the reason for not stopping tankers, given that personal residences and MSF hospitals are in-bounds. Would like to know what the real reason is.)


Business casualties?

I imagine you cannot simply (walk into Mordor and) obliterate a large business like that - it obviously involves other parties than just "ISIS", in the different stages of extraction refinery transport sale etc.
It may involve foreign companies too, like the oil business anywhere else. It seems to involve Turkey as a channel for the sales.
Just a few off the top of my head thoughts - I haven't really read that much on that, I also suspect no source will have a reliable full story on all that business of smuggling oil in war zones - certainly not the source giving us official excuses about not wanting to create "civilian casualties" (in bombing tankers? and civilian casualties in the Middle East are a concern for the US since... when exactly?)
posted by bitteschoen at 6:16 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Reasonable expectations are hard to define in a war zone.
posted by humanfont at 6:17 PM on November 17, 2015




Ouch. That's a palpable hit.
posted by Justinian at 7:20 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the article Rosswald linked to (...thanks):
Selling crude is Isis’ biggest single source of revenue.

...diesel and petrol produced in Isis areas are not only consumed in territory the group controls but in areas that are technically at war with it, such as Syria’s rebel-held north: the region is dependent on the jihadis’ fuel for its survival. Hospitals, shops, tractors and machinery used to pull victims out of rubble run on generators that are powered by Isis oil.

“It’s a situation that makes you laugh and cry,” said one Syrian rebel commander in Aleppo, who buys diesel from Isis areas even as his forces fight the group on the front lines. “But we have no other choice, and we are a poor man’s revolution. Is anyone else offering to give us fuel?”

I got two major things out of this article:

- detailed info about the functioning of ISIS's oil sales. It clearly shows the complexity, but it also feeds my obession that cutting their ability to sell oil is key.

- it underscores that ISIS isn't some unruly group of young radicals and hellions who will burn themselves out eventually. This is a serious and largely successful attempt at building a nation, however medieval their religious zeal or murderous towards whoever they consider infidels, and they are apparently better at it (while not exactly admiring their methods) than the West were after 10 years of conquest and occupation. Epic fail, west.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:03 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered about the mind set that turned Jewish refugees away before and during WWII but having seen my not all that political Tumblr dashboard/feed (really its usually 99% pretty pictures) explode with anti refugee sentiments because "OMG concealed terrorists" its become more believable if still incomprehensible.
posted by Mitheral at 8:09 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two Air France flights, AF055 and AF065 have been diverted. One was flying to Paris and was diverted to Halifax, the other was diverted to Salt Lake City. No details as to the precise nature of the threats that forced landings. All passengers safe and secure.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:16 PM on November 17, 2015


Major news outlets are reporting that there's a serious firefight on-going in a suburb in Paris.
posted by RedShrek at 8:38 PM on November 17, 2015


tonycpsu: “For pointing and laughing purposes, here's a wingnut-fanfic-to-English translation of Kurt Schlicter's very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.”
Surprisingly that isn't by the guy who wrote that "post-9/11 what might have been" fan-fiction about nuking Mecca, Damascus, and a bunch of other cities. The tone was so similar I was sure it was the same guy.

mikelieman: “Jerry Pournelle chimes in...
Oh, Jerry…. Ignoring everything else, I know the Kagans think three divisions [PDF] would be more than enough for the job, but that ignores Daveed Gartenstein-Ross' analysis that puts as many as 100,000 men under arms for ISIL. That makes it a job for at least 30 brigades — maybe eight divisions in old money — or roughly 135,000 personnel. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there are maybe a dozen U.S. brigades ready to be deployed.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:39 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


link
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:40 PM on November 17, 2015


“I’ve Worked On The Syrian Refugee Trail in Europe. Here’s What We’re Getting Wrong.” Tihomir Kukolja, Sojourners, 17 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 8:43 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Keith Olbermann (yes, that Keith Olbermann) has just retweeted a bunch of tweets (his French is better than mine, so if I get this wrong, it's me, not him.)

Apparently, there's just been a huge raid in St. Denis. GIGN was involved, and if you know French police, GIGN is a big deal. Some officers down. En Francois. "Importante opération policière en cours à St-Denis. Périmètre de sécurité de 500m, rapporte Le Monde. Plus de détails bientôt LaPresse.ca"
posted by eriko at 8:55 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine (in england) just posted the same thing on facebook.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:01 PM on November 17, 2015


It clearly shows the complexity, but it also feeds my obession that cutting their ability to sell oil is key.

Fundamentally, since WWI, the way you win is to make sure the nation you are fighting doesn't have the economy to win.

Two Air France flights, AF055 and AF065 have been diverted. One was flying to Paris and was diverted to Halifax, the other was diverted to Salt Lake City. No details as to the precise nature of the threats that forced landings.

AFR55 was IAD-CDG, diverted to YHZ, AFR65 was LAX-CDG, diverted to SLC. Both were about 90 minutes into the flight when they were ordered to divert. AFR55 departed IAD at 1815 local, 0015Z, don't quickly have a depart time on AFR65.

Both were bomb threats. Both are down safely and have been searched. Both have been rescheduled to depart to CDG.
posted by eriko at 9:04 PM on November 17, 2015




AFP reporting that 2-3 suspects have barricaded themselves in an apartment.
posted by RedShrek at 9:18 PM on November 17, 2015


I think it's also worth mentioning that ISIS's Nigerian franchise carried out a bombing in Nigeria which claimed at least 38 lives a few hours ago today.
posted by RedShrek at 9:31 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


>I think it's also worth mentioning that ISIS's Nigerian franchise carried out a bombing in Nigeria which claimed at least 38 lives ...

They should just change their name to SPECTRE and get an island base with a volcano and be done with it already
posted by AGameOfMoans at 9:34 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


It would seem, if we wanted to, it would be pretty easy to massively disrupt Daesh's oil production. Oil wells are pretty conspicuous. Drones should be able to render wells inoperative without a whole lot of difficulty. Hit a few pipelines. Follow up on whoever comes to repair them.
posted by Windopaene at 11:00 PM on November 17, 2015


There are a lot of things about the oil story that don't make sense to me, and that's one of them.

Another is the amount of oil being sold vs the number of tankers required to transport it (about 275 barrels in a large truck, estimates of 40,000 barrels a day, = approx 150 trucks that need to be be filled, transported and emptied per day) and the routes it takes to market. Despite the comical stories in the Financial Times, that amount of oil is not crossing the border in jerry cans tied to the back of donkeys.

Also: the Financial Times goes on about the amount of oil sold locally. Very well, where does the money for that come from? Either ISIS-held territory is running the mother of all deficits, or cash is just pouring in there.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:30 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump's plan to bomb Iraq's oil fields not a good one
This goes for Syria as well.
posted by artdrectr at 11:32 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fundamentally, since WWI, the way you win is to make sure the nation you are fighting doesn't have the economy to win.

Well, Daesh is externally funded, so it looks like one or more of Saudi Arabia, CIA, or Halliburton is going to have to be crippled.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:59 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]




This is why I don't use Facebook:

Israelis on Facebook react angrily to Paris attacks — and to each other
Is the world full of anti-Semites or is Israel overrun with right-wing xenophobes? Your Facebook feed affects your perception of reality, says expert

I thought this part was especially interesting:
In this way, says Ratz, Facebook creates a virtual bubble around each person that feeds whatever proclivities they already have. If someone enjoys angry political arguments, Facebook will provide them with whatever most outrages them. If they like pictures of babies, Facebook will provide more of that.

posted by Joe in Australia at 12:21 AM on November 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "Submitted without comment, someone's argument against Texas accepting Syrian refugees."

He's got that backwards, as crazy ideas go. Why not arm the refugees instead and reward them for rooting out these terrorists? Some of them at least would have strong incentives to do so...
posted by chavenet at 1:45 AM on November 18, 2015


Joe in Australia, that sounds like FB won't ever let things die down for peace.
posted by infini at 2:00 AM on November 18, 2015


"David Cameron relies on the complicity of mainstream media and the gullibility and disinterest of the British public to get away with an extraordinary switch. Two years ago he was strongly urging military action in Syria against the forces of President Assad. Now he urges military action against the enemies of President Assad"
Craig Murray - Thrashing Not Swimming
posted by rongorongo at 2:39 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, if the article is right then it's malevolently brilliant: if you like harmony, Facebook will placate you. But if you can be successfully trolled - success being determined by how long you stay online- Facebook will happily troll you all day long.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:42 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


France to admit 30,000 more refugees, Hollande announced today.
posted by eriko at 5:00 AM on November 18, 2015 [16 favorites]


The backlash against Muslims in Europe begins:
I didn't want to post this on Facebook, but if I don't people will never hear the other side of the story. Today on my way from Germany back to Holland my train stopped at 12 o' clock for a minute to pay respects for the victims of Paris' terror attacks. I thought that was really beautiful, although it disturbed me that the lives lost in Beirut and Baghdad did not seem worth mentioning. Anyways, after the minute ended the train continued and a German guy sitting in front of me turned around with so much hatred and I could already sense what was going to happen. And there he went talking about how my volks are responsible for this, that he hopes for a third world war to end the Islamisation of Europe, that it would be a dream if we would all be earsed from the face of the earth or at least go back to where we come from, that on the inside we were all the same - terrorists, and that he could barely look at me with my monstrous rag around my head (almost laughed at this one - almost). Since I hadn't said anything to that point he ended with "I bet you didn't even understand a word I'm saying." I didn't want to discuss with him because I knew it would lead to no where but at this point I felt so insulted on so many different levels and was angry and disappointed and just sad. How could someone hate me so much, without even knowing me? There was so much I wanted to say, among those deeply unfriendly things, for example how his 'volks' are responsible for 2 World Wars and the death of millions of lives. Instead I answered in my flawless German that I was deeply shocked by the attacks of Paris but that his behavior shocked me almost as much. That the joined forces of IS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram make up 0.003% (!!!) of the Muslim population and that it is simply unrealistic and stupid to blame 1.6 billion Muslims for the unjustifiable acts of a few crazy people. And because I was becoming angrier by the minute amd just wanted to poke his eye out at some point, I added that his imprudent words reminded me heavily of the words of a fanatic responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and millions of other human beings. I don't think he was expecting me to answer because he just looked at me silently. So I ended with "think before you speak, words are more powerful that you think. Please turn around and have a nice day". I turned up the Quran I was listening to and tried to hold back the tears as I heard a child ask his mom somewhere behind me, why we were fighting and the mom replied "because her people are responsible for killing many innocent people dear". "But why is she upset mom?", asked the little boy, maybe around 7 years old, like my baby sister. The moms reply: " I don't know, it doesn't matter sweetheart." The train was full, there were barely empty seats, did ANYONE bother to say ANYTHING? No. Silence. And that silence almost hurt more than everything else. It doesn't matter? It doesn't matter that a 19 year old is being verbally assaulted and accused of being a terrorist and nearly 30 grown ups sit there and do NOTHING?????
Please people the next time you see a hijabi girl, please don't attack her religion or make her feel like she has to justify herself. Instead give her a hug and say that you hope nobody has humiliated her yet today. Wearing the hijab is NOT a burden, unless society makes it one. It takes a lot of strength and not everybody has this strength for exactly these reasons. Please don't make it more difficult than it is and please for God's sake stop accusing me of being one of 'them'. I am not a terrorist and the fact that I have to say this shows how broken our socety is.
Great start of the week. To all my hijabi sisters and Muslim friends: be strong, it's not going to get better so just be strong. To everyone else: have a nice day xx
posted by divabat at 5:40 AM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Gods, Divabat, that's horrible. In a similar vein, I had to go for a blood draw yesterday. One of the girls who works at the lab and does blood draws wears a hijab. She's been there for years. There are three people who do draws and there was a huge wait, because people were refusing to let her work on them. I was able to get in and out in under 10 minutes because why would I refuse to let a trained professional to do her job? People are insane.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:05 AM on November 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have long been a fan of Eleanor Beardsley, the NPR correspondent in France. She's been covering this morning's police raid. Her Twitter is a great source to track unfolding things.
posted by Miko at 6:11 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I turned up the Quran I was listening to and tried to hold back the tears as I heard a child ask his mom somewhere behind me, why we were fighting and the mom replied "because her people are responsible for killing many innocent people dear". "But why is she upset mom?", asked the little boy, maybe around 7 years old, like my baby sister. The moms reply: " I don't know, it doesn't matter sweetheart."

God, what a fucking disgrace. That poor girl.

But this isn't about the Paris attacks. It's about people who fundamentally don't want to bother to know about Islam or Muslims, at the best, and who are actively racist at the worst. They want a socially acceptable excuse to spew poison and they are - consciously or not - glad to have found one. That's why the terrorists always win, because they use their acts to draw out what is already within the social body. And that's why no amount of appeals to common sense or history do any good, because what's happening is that people want war and violence and racism, and at least for now they're happy to see those things underway. Ten years from now we'll look back with bitter, bitter regret, but for now it's just another bit of fun. People who are basically safe, who are deeply unlikely to be assaulted by a terrorist, pretending to themselves that they're not safe so that they can gang up on others. Disgusting, self-indulgent and immature.
posted by Frowner at 6:24 AM on November 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


“What, are you going to have your militia fight the federal government at the borders of your state? It’s a pure political statement." - New York governor Andrew Cuomo
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:43 AM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


"And that's why no amount of appeals to common sense or history do any good, because what's happening is that people want war and violence and racism."

I understand this opinion and sentiment. But it's simply not true that "appeals to common sense or history" have not met with good results, it feels that way, but history is alive with vibrant examples of hope and change.
posted by clavdivs at 6:43 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Canada going ahead with its plan to bring in Syrian refugees while America gets real nervous about that.

I hope hope hope that the Trudeau government sticks to its gun and makes good on this promise, and I hope my home country learns to stop being a damn racist bully over other countries.
posted by Kitteh at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


The anti-Syrian refugee movement running rampant across the U.S. will only further anti-American sentiment abroad : Listen, I'm all for safety and security and I am open-minded to how difficult that must be sometimes, but what we are seeing right now is irrational fear-mongering. What we are seeing right now, this hysteria, is not based in reality whatsoever, but is preying on fears and is being pimped by presidential candidates to drum up support for their campaigns."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Short term opportunistic goals will end up destroying the futures of how many million children more?
posted by infini at 7:07 AM on November 18, 2015


Per Newsmax: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling "pause in the Syrian refugee program necessary"
posted by clavdivs at 7:23 AM on November 18, 2015


That's disappointing. Schumer is usually a good guy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:25 AM on November 18, 2015


What to Do About the Refugees? (cartoon)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:26 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing the Facebook thing happen to a relative right now. The stuff he's re posting is so full of BS and he's freaking out. I think I've managed to talk him down some what and get him step back and 'think' about what he's seeing. I've pointed out some low hanging fruit ridiculous things. I asked him where he's getting all this stuff from and he said it just keep appearing in his feed.
posted by Jalliah at 7:27 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling "pause in the Syrian refugee program necessary"

Christ, what an asshole. We know that conservatives are being huge hypocrites on this, especially those whose families claim to come from similar circumstance, but he really should know better. It's appalling that he's the front runner for leading Senate Democrats (whether it's a majority or minority), and I hope his continued dickery brings out a challenger.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:46 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not sure why we are quoting NewsMax.
The Hill - Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, on Tuesday said it may be necessary to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

Republicans immediately seized on Schumer’s comment, which breaks with other Democrats who have argued against halting the program.

Schumer, however, declined to take the option off the table ahead of a special briefing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon on the process that is now used to vet refugees entering the United States.

“We’re waiting for the briefing tomorrow, a pause may be necessary. We’re going to look at it,” he said.
posted by rosswald at 7:54 AM on November 18, 2015



Well fuck you Facebook. I commented above about my cousin and his posts.

I just logged in and I've got Daily Mail crap and other crap in the Facebook generated posts. I have never had this before. I'm gonna guess that because I did some commenting on my cousins right wing crap posts, pointing out their crap, Facebook has decided I want to see this crap.

I wish I could get the parts of my family that only communicate through FB to do something else. I've tried before but it ended up with me just being out of the loop all of the time.
posted by Jalliah at 8:04 AM on November 18, 2015


This is just an observation but I find it kind of sad that a post about an atrocity in Paris is now completely derailed because of arseholes in America (whats new?)
posted by adamvasco at 8:09 AM on November 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


The Belgian prosecutor’s office, on having interrogated, and subsequently released, both Abdeslam brothers in the recent past:

“We have over 130 who we know have come back from Syria, and spent a certain amount of time there, and we can hardly follow up on them. We can’t keep an eye on everyone.” Simply increasing the resources of the police and the prosecutors would not solve the problem, Van der Sypt argued. “It’s impossible,” he said. “You could double the effectiveness of the police and the prosecutors which would mean you could keep an eye on more people but would this mean such attacks can be prevented?” He would not comment on a proposal being discussed in the Belgian cabinet to put electronic tagging bracelets on radicals who return from fighting in Syria. “To start with it is a social problem. That is the basis to it all,” the prosecutor said. “The judicial answer is the last answer. More important is prevention of people getting radicalised. There will never, ever be a watertight system to catch people who are going to Syria.”
posted by progosk at 8:18 AM on November 18, 2015




I started to bristle at that, adamvasco, but unfortunately you have a point. It's embarrassing to be a US citizen these days.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:20 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Below please find the note I am now sending Chuck Schumer.

"Senator Schumer -

Are you KIDDING ME?

I will grant you that I do not have a political background, but even so, it is glaringly apparent to me that the people who perpetrated the attacks in Paris are the people who the Syrian refugees are trying to escape FROM. What is it you suggest we do with the refugees? Perhaps put them on a cruise liner and name it "SS St. Louis 2"?

Blocking refugees isn't going to stop the threat of terror. The men who attacked the World Trade Center weren't refugees. Nor are any of the home-grown terrorists who've perpetrated other horrors before or since 9/11.

Your own ancestors, as well as mine, were fleeing hardship and found a haven in this country. To close the door to refugees is a betrayal of everything our ancestors came here for.

You no longer represent my interests in this Senate, and I am going to be withholding my vote come election day.

EmpreesCallipygos (Granddaughter of an Acadian French woman, great-granddaughter of Polish immigrants, thrice-great granddaughter of Irish famine immigrants)"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:23 AM on November 18, 2015 [5 favorites]




If they want to stop Syrian refugees from coming to the US then those same states need to also ban EU citizens from ever visiting their states because as we can see, most of the terrorists that have been identified were European.
posted by RedShrek at 9:12 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sadly, the vast majority of the people demanding it wouldn't admit to those people being Actual Europeans.
posted by Etrigan at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2015


Yeah, apologizes for Newsmax, I didn't add a link for a reason. I'm suprised and sorta shocked at the bi-partisan albeit a GOP majority of politicans being this knee jerk. Our state was preparing to accept 100,000. Well, 20 are being brought in this week and Michigan has taken in third largest amount of Syrian refugees.

It is not cool and reactionary and I hope that reflects in these politicos responses in the coming days.
posted by clavdivs at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Washington Governor Inslee welcomes Syrian refugees to settle in his state (NPR, longer audio interview, transcript coming later today) - he likened the restrictions on refugees to Japanese internment camps, possibly making sense at the time but being terrible in hindsight. This is really heartening, after seeing the atrocious map of states that are prohibiting Syrian refugees.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:33 AM on November 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


My birth state (CT) and my current home state (NY) are in the "accepting" camp. However, my parents' current home state (MA), which is where I will also be going for Thanksgiving in a week, is in the "no" camp.

And even so, it also happens to be the home state of my brother, and I'm sure he disapproves of his governor's choice. However, it also happens to be the home state of two sets of cousins who would approve, just as an aunt and uncle I have out on Long Island probably disapprove of Cuomo. Meanwhile, Rhode Island hasn't said either way, but another aunt with Tea-Party leanings probably will have plenty to say.

Dear Paris: can I come visit you next week?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Addendum: 100,000 refugees for the country, not the state.
posted by clavdivs at 9:45 AM on November 18, 2015


To give you an idea about the intensity of the St. Denis raid, we have this little tidbit from the press conference.
There are two people dead but it will take a bit longer to get the additional details, because the building had to be propped up because it was threatening to collapse.
They weren't kidding about explosives if it broke the building.
posted by eriko at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]




This Hijab Is the Purest Shade You'll Ever See on Fox News (warning: a "debate" on the danger of mosques in the United States, from a Trump spokesperson, against Saba Ahmed, founder of the Republican Muslim Coalition, who sees the Republican party as more aligned with her points of view).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]






This is one of those times I'm proud to live in Washington. Local MeFites, if you're so inclined, consider throwing some support behind the Washington Rescue Committee for Syrian Refugees. Their Facebook page is here, if you'd like to spread the word about ways to help.
posted by palomar at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Relevant thread: The rise of ISIS and its threat.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on November 18, 2015


Jason Stanford ‏@JasStanford Nov 16

A GOP state rep in Texas says we can't have Syrian refugees in Texas because it'd be too easy for them to get guns.

And scene.

posted by Trochanter at 1:03 PM on November 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the thread of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then"

Looks like his understanding of the internment is as poor as his understanding of the refugee crisis. Japanese Americans were among the first to come out in support of the Muslim community post-9/11 precisely because of ignorant, hateful shit like this. It's a shame we're too small as a group for politicians to really worry much about pissing us off, but I'm currently trying to figure out how to mobilize the Japantown community to help Syrian refugees, because fuck you for making this personal.
posted by sunset in snow country at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


In a counterpoint to the Texas GOP state rep: New York's Daily News has a front page article comparing the NRA to jihadists, because they're blocking gun laws that could prevent terror suspects from obtaining guns.

Let me say that again.

The New York Daily News compared the NRA to terrorists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:06 PM on November 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is....is this...peak parody?
posted by nubs at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Reuters is reporting Islamists have stabbed a Jewish teacher in Marseilles
Jewish teacher stabbed in Marseilles by Islamic State supporters - prosecutors

A teacher at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Marseilles was stabbed on Wednesday by three people professing support for Islamic State, but his life was not in danger, prosecutors said.

Three people on two scooters, one of them wearing an Islamic State t-shirt, approached the teacher in the street, Marseilles prosecutor Brice Robin told Reuters.

Another showed a picture on his mobile telephone of Mohamed Merah, a homegrown Islamist militant who killed seven people in a series of attacks in southern France in 2012.

"The three people insulted, threatened and then stabbed their victim in the arm and leg. They were interrupted by the arrival of a car and fled," Robin added.
BBC has picked up the story, but refers back to Reuters
posted by rosswald at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2015


A similar incident occurred in Finland. 3 people came up to a guy, and did exactly this, right down to harmless stabs with a knife. Seems like religion doesn't really matter.

meanwhile, back at the ranch...
posted by infini at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it?
Only as far back as this July a Senior Western official declared Links between Turkey and ISIS are now 'undeniable'; and in September a Turkish newspaper claimed to have documented weapons-related supplies being transferred from Turkey to IS in Syria.
posted by adamvasco at 1:33 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


via George Takei
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:18 PM on November 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jesus, the responses to George are awful. I'm reminded again why I turned off my Facebook in September and haven't gone back.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]




...doesn't that mean the system WORKED? Bad guys tried to come here, they got stopped.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:40 PM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sure, but it'll still be used against both refugees from Syria and undocumented immigrants from Latin America, because that's the way American politics works.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:42 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, they weren't acting as refugees. No one's been calling to block Greek tourists.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:42 PM on November 18, 2015


"I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the thread of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then"

Counterpoint (with a memory of how that all went, including the aftermath):
INSLEE: Yeah. So my neighbors were locked up by the federal government and sent to camps for years while their sons fought in the Army in Italy and were decorated fighting for democracy. We regret that. We regret that we succumbed to fear. We regret that we lost moorage for who we were as a country. We shouldn't do that right now.
There are so many good points made in this 5 minute interview with Gov. Inslee (we have a ton of filters in place for people seeking refugee status, and they have to pass all that before they step foot on US soil, while we also have tourist visas that face very little scrutiny), but I'll stop here. The transcript is up, so you can probably read it in 2 minutes.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:58 PM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Fuck.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 3:02 PM on November 18, 2015


No one's been calling to block Greek tourists.

Are you sure? I haven't checked my Facebook feed in the past 15 seconds.

Really, the only way to be completely safe is to keep all foreigners out. Except Canadians, of course, they're practically Americans anyway.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]




DW: An overview of Germany's Islamist scene - An overview of Germany's Islamist scene. There are several thousand Jihadists and radical Salafists in Germany, according to authorities. They have gathered in various groups and strive for different goals - peacefully and violently. [Inside], an overview

---

Al-Monitor: In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition? In the wake of the Islamic State's (IS) attacks in the Sinai, Beirut and Paris, there is an urgent need to mobilize resources to deal with the threat, especially resources in the Arab world. Instead, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are devoting their resources and efforts to a floundering and expensive military campaign in Yemen.
posted by rosswald at 3:50 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huckabee has told Fox News radio Syrians shouldn’t be brought to Minnesota because it’s cold.

“Can you imagine bringing in a bunch of Syrian refugees who’ve lived in the desert their whole lives that are suddenly thrown into an English speaking community? WHere it’s maybe in Minnesota where it is 20 degrees below zero? I mean I just don’t understand what we possibly can be thinking.”


While not unexpected (because Huckabee) this is a weird statement since Minnesota has the largest Somali community in the United States. And they've managed to integrate fairly well, despite the hostile climate.

Because OBVIOUSLY when you're fleeing an oppressive regime, your number one priority is the weather of the place you're fleeing to.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:53 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dear President Obama:

We commend your decision to open America’s doors to at least 10,000 Syrian refugees displaced by civil war, and applaud your commitment to increase the overall number of refugees the U.S. will resettle over the course of the next two years. This announcement is a vital initial step to honoring America’s commitment to support those fleeing oppression.

As the mayors of cities across the country, we see first-hand the myriad ways in which immigrants and refugees make our communities stronger economically, socially and culturally. We will welcome the Syrian families to make homes and new lives in our cities. Indeed, we are writing to say that we stand ready to work with your Administration to do much more and to urge you to increase still further the number of Syrian refugees the United States will accept for resettlement. The surge of humanity fleeing war and famine is the largest refugee crisis since World War II. The United States is in a position to lead a global narrative of inclusion and support. This is a challenge we can meet, and the undersigned mayors stand ready to help you meet it.

Our cities have been transformed by the skills and the spirit of those who come to us from around the world. The drive and enterprise of immigrants and refugees have helped build our economies, enliven our arts and culture, and enrich our neighborhoods.

We have taken in refugees, and will help make room for thousands more. This is because the United States has developed a robust screening and background check that assures us that we know who we are welcoming into this country. With national security systems in place, we stand ready to support the Administration in increasing the numbers of refugees we can accept.

With Pope Francis’ visit, we are mindful of his call for greater compassion in the face of this ongoing crisis and stand with you in supporting those “journeying towards the hope of life.”

Sincerely,

Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, MD
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, RI
Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL
Edward Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, GA
Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH
Domenick Stampone, Mayor of Haledon, NJ
Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor of Hartford, CT
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Betsy Hodges, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY
Jose Torres, Mayor of Paterson, NJ
William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Javier Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe, NM
Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
Stephanie A. Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY


18 U.S. Mayors To Obama: We'll Take Even More Refugees
posted by triggerfinger at 3:56 PM on November 18, 2015 [26 favorites]


Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL

God damn you know how fucked up this world has become? It's so fucked up that Rahm Fucking Emanuel is doing the right thing for once.

Drink hard this New Year's, kids, it may be our last one if we keep going at this rate.

Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, MO

Okay, at this rate, we may not even make it to New Years.
posted by eriko at 3:59 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA

Syrian refugees find suspicion, hope in Allentown: "The Lehigh Valley has one of the oldest and largest Syrian communities in the United States, making it an attractive place for refugees fleeing that country's civil war to resettle."
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:21 PM on November 18, 2015


Johnny Wallflower: "Except Canadians, of course, they're practically Americans anyway."

But we're allowed to deny the Americans fleeing a Clinton presidency entry to Canada right?

triggerfinger: "Because OBVIOUSLY when you're fleeing an oppressive regime, your number one priority is the weather of the place you're fleeing to."

Sadly not an original means of discrimination.
posted by Mitheral at 4:32 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


But we're allowed to deny the Americans fleeing a Clinton presidency entry to Canada right?

Of course, for moral turpitude.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:15 PM on November 18, 2015




Given that the attacks in Paris were largely carried out by French citizens, it's clear that immigrants are the only people who should be allowed in anywhere.

I'll be moving to Iceland now. (Bonus: I'll increase their genetic diversity!).
posted by jb at 5:50 PM on November 18, 2015


“Isil seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the west, and when you see individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the Isil narrative. It’s counter-productive. And it needs to stop.

“And I would add, these are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just ‘talk to Putin’ or staring down Isil [will work] … but they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”

- Barack Obama
posted by gwint at 5:53 PM on November 18, 2015 [32 favorites]




Back to Paris -

A young Muslim man conducted a simple, but powerful, demonstration today all by himself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 PM on November 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


- Barack Obama

“We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic. We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.

This sentence is a pure distillation of a key reason President Obama is a much better President than his predecessor.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:45 PM on November 18, 2015 [14 favorites]


No, I don't know either. Except the obvious, of course:
Polish Anti-Refugee Demonstrators Burn Effigies of Orthodox Jews at Wroclaw Protest
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:04 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Major elements of Ben Carson's plan:

1-Close the borders to refugees
2-Censor the Internet to stop IS propaganda and recruiting.
3-convince the Kurds and Iraqis that IS is an existential threat and arm them with a PR and media blitz
4- Sanctuary zones in Iraq and Syria

Tldr: Carson has no plan, just a bunch of mostly terrible and or useless ideas of things we could do but which have very impact on attaining the desired outcome.
posted by humanfont at 8:36 PM on November 18, 2015


George Will informs us not only that should we look to Chris Christie after Paris, but also that John Lennon was a hack. Who wants to come with me and hang out on his lawn?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Am I right in supposing that Abu Oud vs Abaaoud is just a question of differences in English vs French transliteration of Arabic? If so, which is closer to the actual pronunciation?)
posted by progosk at 11:43 PM on November 18, 2015


PBS Frontline: ISIS in Afghanistan, November 17 2015 (alternate link)

Identifies the ISIS strongholds as two regions in far eastern Afghanistan, just south of the Wakhan Corridor that reaches out and touches China. According to this, fighters from the Taliban and other groups are switching to ISIS because they pay better.

ISIS fights against both the Taliban and the Afghani national government, saying that the Taliban are pawns of the Pakistani intelligence services but ISIS answers only to God. The Taliban collect taxes in the areas they control and are shown teaching grade-school-aged Pashtun children how to use various types of firearms and grenades and showing them online ISIS videos of training camps in the Middle East and other events.
posted by XMLicious at 12:09 AM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


BBC - French PM Manuel Valls has warned that France could face chemical or biological attack from terror groups, as MPs debate extending the state of emergency after the Paris attacks.

Belgian police are meanwhile raiding six properties in and around Brussels, linked to suspected Paris attackers Bilal Hadfi and Salah Abdeslam
posted by rosswald at 1:34 AM on November 19, 2015


BBC World News anchor just announced a French prosecutor saying that Abaaoud has been identified via fingerprints as one of those killed in yesterday's raid.
posted by XMLicious at 4:39 AM on November 19, 2015


French PM Manuel Valls has warned that France could face chemical or biological attack from terror groups,

“This sort of statement is often made after any kind of terror attack that causes extreme shock or is seen as a having been on a scale greater than has gone before,” he added, giving the examples of the Lod airport massacre in 1972, US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998, and after the September 11 attacks in 2001."

Richard Guthrie, a leading British expert on chemical and biological weapons: grauniad
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:59 AM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




These last few links about the mastermind being featured in Dabiq are mind-boggling. The police and intelligence agencies are completely incompetent and should be ashamed of their performance. The guy, using his full name and photos, talking in real time about how he is in Belgium and they didn't catch him, and he is going to continue his work?!? He was stopped and specifically checked for suspicion of being who he was, and the cop couldn't ID him, because those brown people all look alike I guess?!? And then they are using regular SMS to communicate with each other?!? Holy moly, it really is the keystone cops - they don't need additional powers, they need to work on basic competence and police work 101.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:36 AM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The guy, using his full name and photos, talking in real time about how he is in Belgium and they didn't catch him, and he is going to continue his work?!?

In Europe, at least until now, the fact that the Belgium police talked to him, but didn't arrest him, means that they could not tell France, because people had a right to privacy and travel unless they had committed some crime meriting due process to restrict that. France officials have stated, on the record, that they received no word that Abdelhamid Abaaoud* was back in Europe.

This is why the EU refused to take part in the PNR system. (Note the past tense there, France and Belgium have said, EU or not, they're going to demand PNR and pre-approval for inbound travelers)

But what it really shows is the failure of mass surveillance on data. "It begins." That means *what* exactly? I may well have texted that at some point. Do you realize just how many text messages a day are sent? How many times a day do you think "It begins" is texted? I'd happily wager $100 that it is over 1000.

So. Investigate 1000 people a day for that one phrase. Never mind the other phrases, which, alone, mean nothing. In the context of "phones held by the attackers, found after the attacks?" They appear to be obvious. But that's only after the attacks.

Look through *your* texts, and read each one as if it happened right after an attack. How many of those merit investigation. How many more like them have been sent.

There is a huge difference between in-context and out of context. Are you going to assume every text sent by a Muslim is a possible threat? How many texts are you looking through.

Millions. Hell, billions per day is not unfeasible.

Sorry. It's not only not feasible, its beyond insanity. Are you going to arrest every single person who texts "It begins?" Are you going to arrest every single person who texts anything that could possibly be construed in some context as talking about an attack?


* This is the Grauniad's transliteration, as well all words and name converted from Arabic to Latin characters, there's more than one way to get close to the actual sounds.Also this is my daily allowance of "Grauniad"
posted by eriko at 6:54 AM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


French prosecutor's office confirms that one of the two bodies found after the St. Denis raid was Abdelhamid Abaaoud's*. As suspected, the second body was his cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen. No word confirming or denying the statements about a third body, still buried under the rubble.

Apparently, after the grenades started to get thrown and the explosive vest detonation, the third floor collapsed, making both finding the two bodies and removing them hard, and making the confirmation/denial of a third difficult.

* Again, Guardian transliteration.
posted by eriko at 7:01 AM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Belgium introduces "some quite draconian" security measures. Anyone going to Syria to fight for ISIL and returning will be imprisoned. Any deemed "radical" will be required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet. A proposal to change the constitution and allow detention for 72 hours in cases of "terrorism" will be introduced. All passengers traveling to Belgium will be required to register details before departure*.

It's the usual "we had to destroy freedom to save it" thing.


* Give how pissed off Europeans were when we started to make them do this? Surprising. It's also a pretty explicit attack on the Schengen Area treat.
posted by eriko at 7:07 AM on November 19, 2015


Belgium introduces "some quite draconian" security measures. Anyone going to Syria to fight for ISIL and returning will be imprisoned.

What is draconian about that?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is draconian about that?

It was just one of many. How about "anybody deemed radical will be required to wear an electronic tracking bracelet?"

And, actually, thinking about it -- before you could probably charge them for what they actually did (and, since ISIL has claimed attacks in Belgium, arguably treason if you were a Belgian citizen.) But in those cases, you'd have to bring that to a court, due process, blah blah blah.

There's nothing about a court here. "You went to Syria, we're calling you an ISIL fighter, welcome to imprisonment."

When the executive declares it has the power to demand tracking at will or imprison at will, EVEN if they claim to limit scope, when it didn't have that before? I think "draconian" isn't a bad word to use to describe it. And as to limiting scope. Every government does that. The scope *always* expands.
posted by eriko at 7:14 AM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thing is, it's not about "It Begins"... It's about "It Begins" being sent by Alice to Bob. It's only important if it shows up in a social network that's already flagged as being worth tracking closely. IN THEORY... I mean that's what they've been spending the public money on, ahem, 'collecting metadata'
posted by mikelieman at 7:20 AM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




My current roommate is here for a year from Brussels. We have been AVOIDING THE FUCK out of political discussions around the apartment these days. (I think we're on the same page, but I suspect this would be a really sensitive area right now.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on November 19, 2015


eriko, the difference I see is that if you are a featured guy in Dabiq, who is openly advertising that he is going to Europe to sow death, then you and everyone you are in contact with should be monitored more carefully than others. It is like with the Stasi - you get too much information (and keep asking to collect more), and what you are actually doing is piling more hay on top of the needle that is right there in plain sight.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:51 AM on November 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


"One woman in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois described her conversion as being like that of a transgender person who opts out of the gender assigned at birth: “I was like a Muslim trapped in a Christian body,” she said. She believed she was only able to live fully as a Muslim with dignity in the Islamic State."

The allure of Isis
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:14 AM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”

Seeing as how they've always been scared of swearing an oath, picking up a weapon and risking their lives, or even swearing an oath, picking up a handtruck and risking a broken toe loading cargo for a few years, it doesn't surprise me that three year old orphans are out of their weight class.

It's always the wannabe tough guys who don't want to talk, communicate, engage. They always want to fight. Y'know, from behind other brave people whom they "support."

All of this could have been avoided with greater international cooperation, diplomacy and constructive engagement.
Bombing the hell out of people isn't the best inducement to get them to tell you, hey, this Abaaoud dick is planning something.
It's certainly not a deterrent.

I don't know that the word "draconian" applies. Nor does "surveillance" or other methods.

Mostly the response post-9/11 to all terrorism has been using better toys, talking tougher, punishing people who are at best only marginally related to anything going on.

Look, we had Adnani, Baghdadi and a bunch of the guys starting shit in Syria and pushing operations over borders now in Iraq ten years ago. I mean captured. Detained. But y'know, just can't get over how high tech a forged passport can be. Used a fake name, damn, the guy is Jason Bourne.

It's a PR war. People get killed spectacularly and fear gets spread, so if you kill even more people more spectacularly while making even more people afraid, you win. Power perceived is power achieved.

That continues, we'll be living in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil."
The best that can be achieved with playing strategic defense, no matter how strong the laws or how much firepower you can bring to bear, is a stalemate.


Greater communication and partnership with local communities, the easier it is to identify people who want to disrupt such things. Destroy and disrupt the conditions that foster terrorism, stop isolating people or being afraid to engage them – talk to people about concrete politics, not ideological abstraction – and it’s the terrorists who become isolated and stick out like sore thumbs.
I mean, no matter your feelings about God, Allah, Israel, Syria, refugees, etc. all politics is local and everyone wants garbage pick up, clean water, decent sewers, protection from epidemics and so forth.
Popular disaffection and desperation drives radicalism of all sorts including terrorist recruitment.

Punitive lawmaking only exacerbates it. I’d be for it if it worked. But it doesn’t. It’s so much harder a job than that. It requires patience, intelligence, earnest inquiry, creative engagement with people who might be very angry and have some very different perspectives about the world.

But y’know, if you see people in a hospital with a loved one who might be dying, very often they read a few magazine articles or talk to some friends and suddenly know more than the doctor and typically have an antagonistic relationship with them.
I understand that. It’s human nature when someone is scared or feels impotent in helping someone they care about who is hurt. People get bent that way and someone being rational, talking about extending a hand to someone seen as an enemy, can be seen as a sympathizer or apologist. Just how it shakes out when people are pissed and scared.

What I have no sympathy for is people who see it as an opportunity to increase their influence and/or trying to make a buck off of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:30 AM on November 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


She believed she was only able to live fully as a Muslim with dignity in the Islamic State.

Cos there's so much dignity to be had in belonging to an intolerant and murdering religious theocracy, I guess.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:33 AM on November 19, 2015


Cos there's so much dignity to be had in belonging to an intolerant and murdering religious theocracy, I guess.

Instead of guessing, why not read the article?
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:42 AM on November 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's an interesting article. Unpleasant, but worth reading.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:12 AM on November 19, 2015


(Am I right in supposing that Abu Oud vs Abaaoud is just a question of differences in English vs French transliteration of Arabic? If so, which is closer to the actual pronunciation?)

So most every news outlet seems to have switched to Abaaoud now; it's a detail, I know, but does anyone know what's up with this?

posted by progosk at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2015


it's a detail, I know, but does anyone know what's up with this?

I don't personally know much about this, but yeah there are a whole bunch of different systems for Romanizing Arabic.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:26 AM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




The roll call is here in case you're interested in knowing who the pants-pissers--including the 47 Democrats who made the House version veto-proof--who want to help bring us back to the good old days of 2002 are.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:32 AM on November 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jesus. Fucking. Christ. What a bunch of spineless, useless, cowardly fucking chickenhawks. Last night, I sat down with my 12 year old to talk about Paris and daesh. And at first, he reacted with anger, saying we should kill them all with fire, and I said, "well, then what? Has responding with fear and hate ever solved a problem, do you think?"

And I told him about the local mosque being vandalized, and I told him about the little girl on the subway, and how people wouldn't let the Muslim girl at the lab do her job, and we talked about the Japanese internment camps, and politicians wetting themselves for a chance to stop orphans from coming to this country and I said "these are the actions of people who fear and hate. Do you want to be like them, or do you think a different solution would be better?"

And he cried and he asked what we can do, and I said that the only thing stronger than hate, is love. And he said he wanted to give his room to a refugee family, to show love.

My point is, my 12 year old son has more ethics and fortitude than American politicians, and I am proud of him, and ashamed of our congress.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:48 AM on November 19, 2015 [27 favorites]


there are a whole bunch of different systems for Romanizing Arabic.

This is also partially responsible for the mess that is the No Fly List
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:55 AM on November 19, 2015


Wait, how is Steve King on the right side here? Did he have an alternate version that barred all refugees?
posted by Etrigan at 12:05 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like the representative from my district voted "no" (yay!) and the rep from my home state hometown district voted "aye" (boo).

I also note with some discomfort that almost the whole of Massachusetts voted nay - except for the rep from District 9, which includes the Cape - in other words, the place where I am going to be going in a week for that freshly-distilled concentration of political disagreement that is my family in its current incarnation.

Oy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:08 PM on November 19, 2015


House Republicans, along with a sizable number of Democrats, passed a bill Thursday afternoon to halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the country until key federal agencies can certify that they have been properly vetted.

And if you could get these people to speak the truth, not one of them would actually believe that Americans are in significant personal danger from Syrian refugees. They're just playing politics and scoring points while actual humans sit at the gates of Europe desperately needing somewhere to go.
posted by Frowner at 12:13 PM on November 19, 2015 [3 favorites]




HOLY SHITFUCKS CONDOLEZZA RICE GOT IT RIGHT?

What fucking universe am I in? Does it rain donuts here?
posted by eriko at 12:20 PM on November 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


This whole fucking country has gone off the fucking deep end. It's like they studied the most horrific moments of 20th century history and decided "that looks great, let's copy them."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:20 PM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Trump: Maybe Muslims In America Should Have To Wear Special ID Badges

Due to the current emergency, I have authorized the suspension of Godwin's law.

Stole that.
posted by eriko at 12:21 PM on November 19, 2015 [18 favorites]


Maybe Trump should wear a special hat.
posted by popcassady at 12:21 PM on November 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Actually weren't most of that era's 1% heavily invested in the Reich?
posted by infini at 12:25 PM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Last night, I sat down with my 12 year old to talk about Paris and daesh. And at first, he reacted with anger, saying we should kill them all with fire, and I said, 'well, then what? Has responding with fear and hate ever solved a problem, do you think?'"

This reminds me of a night in the fall of 1980. I had just turned sixteen, it was late at night and I was in a hotel room on a band trip preparing for sleep with three other boys. Talk turned to the Iran Hostage Crisis. Someone wondered why we couldn't just nuke Iran. I responded with some questions asking about the possible consequences of that, or, really, any other military intervention. The other three boys had no sense of geopolitics, but they also didn't really think about the proximate consequences or even that their ideas would actually work at all. We had a long conversation and they seemed to acquiesce to my point that there were no good, easy solutions and most especially that our nuclear capability was pretty much irrelevant. I suspected, though, that they were frustrated by this and were just certain that our overwhelming military capability meant that solving the crisis was actually trivial, and that it was Carter's fecklessness that was the problem, no matter what I argued.

The GOP and basically a lot of people, politics aside, never really get beyond that sixteen-year-old-boy analysis of this kind of thing. Overwhelming force is the right response and it will solve most problems. Aside from everything else, it's no wonder that people think this way because much of our popular entertainment is built around this kind of fantasy. Even so, I think it's pretty sad that much of what passes for informed debate about this stuff is basically the late-night suggestions of adolescent boys who don't know very much about anything at all.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:26 PM on November 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


Maybe Trump should wear a special hat.

OR GROW A SPECIAL MUSTACHE.
posted by eriko at 12:26 PM on November 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


Of course, Trump didn't actually say he was in favor of special identification for Muslim-Americans. Here's the relevant bit from the Yahoo! News interview:
But Trump doesn’t buy it. He also has concerns about the larger Muslim community here in the U.S., he said.

Yahoo News asked Trump whether his push for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures.

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

“We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
Dancing around the idea may make him even more wretched and awful.
posted by notyou at 12:34 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hi, I jhust ghot baak from a Tyme Sefari. Somee dooshbaeg steppined on a booterfliee. LOOL!

Wate…is thise schit aboote Trump fore reel?

it does give assurance that those coming into the country are properly screened and not a threat to anybody.”

Obviously it's impairing refugees from entering the country with another layer of red tape. Kind of ironic to accuse people of fleeing terrorism of terrorism.

But this bit of inanity aside - remember how when 9/11 happened everyone immediately forgot that the WTC had been attacked previously and that had been dealt with?

But suddenly we needed an entirely new system on top of the old one that sort of superseded the prior laws and enforcement methods, but not really, but kinda, but only over here or there, or whatever, where needed, as it were, and extra national security and stuff and something about Cuba if that's still a thing?

Yeah that. How'd that work out?
Oh, and small government *thumbs up* *grin*
posted by Smedleyman at 1:24 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]





She believed she was only able to live fully as a Muslim with dignity in the Islamic State.

moi: Cos there's so much dignity to be had in belonging to an intolerant and murdering religious theocracy, I guess.

Instead of guessing, why not read the article?


Oh I did. I do get (as far as a non-Muslim can) how the IS is running a pretty rational society for devout Muslims... except that you just have to sort of ignore how the IS has been treating Westerners and other 'infidels'.

I've been told that killing innocents (infidels or not) is actually against Islam, but again I'm not a subject-matter expert. And, hey, what's that, compared to 'living fully as a Muslim with dignity', anyway...

(it's sort of like saying Nazi Germany allowed some people to live fully as ethnic Germans with dignity)
posted by Artful Codger at 2:13 PM on November 19, 2015




Thanks for the link to that Atran-Hamid article M. Bijou.
posted by progosk at 2:41 PM on November 19, 2015


'The Master Plan'
[New Yorker, 2006]
posted by clavdivs at 2:49 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link to that Atran-Hamid article M. Bijou.

Seconded, though IMO the quote provided doesn't quite represent its tone.

Also interesting, from the related links under that article.
posted by MoTLD at 2:55 PM on November 19, 2015


I think it's pretty sad that much of what passes for informed debate about this stuff is basically the late-night suggestions of adolescent boys who don't know very much about anything at all.

This Onion piece linked from the automatic satire detector thread is just horrifyingly perfect.
posted by flabdablet at 3:36 PM on November 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just for completeness, not because I think it's substantial: New ISIS propaganda video threatens attack on White House
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:54 PM on November 19, 2015


“7 Things I Learned Reading Every Issue Of ISIS's Magazine,” Robert Evans, Cracked, 19 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


One thing Robert Evans apparently failed to learn is that the purpose of calling Daesh Daesh is not to annoy Daesh, but to remind everybody who is not in Daesh that Daesh cannot be, and will not be, anything even vaguely resembling a legitimate State. It's essentially a propaganda countermeasure against the language chosen by fearmongering dickheads in our own communities.
posted by flabdablet at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:08 PM on November 19, 2015


“What 100,000 U.S. boots on the ground get you in Syria,” Michael O'Hanlon, Reuters, 19 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 6:14 PM on November 19, 2015


When The Satanic Temple Minneapolis Chapter is more Christ-like than many Christians.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:42 PM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's actually pretty clear that he doesn't buy that explanation not that he "failed to learn" it and he justifies his opinion. Which is fine, the long drawn out unclear explanations of why we should use Daesh seem to be pretty weak and are probably more "because it makes certain people more comfortable to use a name that does not include the word 'Islamic'."
posted by rr at 6:55 PM on November 19, 2015


For example "I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists" is a much more believable explanation than the long drawn out 'it sounds funny' explanation.
posted by rr at 7:13 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just for completeness, not because I think it's substantial: New ISIS propaganda video threatens attack on White House

Funny, if they really want a reaction, they'd threaten the Capitol* Building and Congress. Obama isn't afraid of them, it's Congress that's full of cowards. I'd give it a 50% chance of a declaration of war and a 50% chance of abject surrender, to be honest.



* I have to look this up every time. I know there's a difference between a majuscule letter and a building where a legislature meets, and you'd think I could remember that the latter is o without looking because I know that the latter is an a, but still. Have to look it up.
posted by eriko at 8:07 PM on November 19, 2015


You remember it because it's the capiTOL building, just like a TOLL booth is a building.

At least that's how I remember and I got paid to edit a newspaper so what I'm saying is, it's childish but it works.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:39 PM on November 19, 2015


When The Satanic Temple Minneapolis Chapter is more Christ-like than many Christians.

They're basically just liberal atheists trolling conservative Christians, so it's not surprising.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:41 PM on November 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


CapiTAL letters are TALler. Just as childish as Eyebrows's, but it's how I remember it.
posted by Etrigan at 8:46 PM on November 19, 2015


If anyone's interested, the book The Muslims Are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundnani has a good critical analysis anti-terrorism strategies and their problems in theory and practice.

The security services mostly use a "conveyor belt" analogy where terrorists are religiously radicalised in a gradual process. The theory is that by monitoring Muslims, they can catch potential terrorists before they commit any acts of terror.

There are some problems with this. First, there's little evidence that it works. The number of people getting religion is too large to keep track of. After an attack the terrorists often turn out to be on a watchlist of some kind, but those lists are just too big to be useful. And that's not because of lack of effort by the authorities:
The East German Stasi is estimated to have had one intelligence operative for every 166 citizens. Adding regular informants brings the number to one spy for every 66 citizens. The FBI reportedly has at present 10,000 intelligence analysts and agents working on counter-terrorism and 15,000 paid informants... it is reasonable to estimate that at least two-thirds are assigned to spy on Muslims... this would mean that the FBI has a spy for every 94 Muslims in the United States-- before the resources of the NSA and... police are added. Muslims are likely to be exposed to levels of state surveillance similar to that which the East German population faced.
Second, as Kundnani points out, the theory behind it is likely flawed. Kundnani makes a good case that the original research behind the strategy is flawed. One example is a 2009 study by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman: "An Empirical Study of the Radicalization Process", which claims to find indicators that will lead to terrorism, and concludes that "individuals theological understanding was a relatively strong factor in their radicalization". However the actual data they present shows that "radical political views" is the highest scoring factor: the authors choose to discount this because religious factors precede it. Kundnani thinks that the eagerness to downplay political factors is partly due to an ideological bias from the study's funders ("neoconservative pressure groups") and partly because it is an easier sell to security services if the causes are isolated rather than a dynamic interaction between stage agencies and terrorists.

Third, because of fear of the authorities, Muslims in the West are often too scared of the authorities to discuss the interaction of politics and religion. Nobody in a mosque or Islamic centre wants to have those conversations if they're scared of being arrested.

Kundnani makes a good case that the methods used by the security services against terrorism are not just oppressive, but actually counterproductive in terms of whether they stop terrorism.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:08 PM on November 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


When it’s deployed honestly, the command to not politicise means to not make someone’s death about something else: it’s not about the issue you’ve always cared about; it’s not about you. To do this is one type of politics. But there’s another. Insisting on the humanity of the victims is also a political act, and as tragedy is spun into civilisational conflict or an excuse to victimise those who are already victims, it’s a very necessary one. There is the politicisation that seizes on death for limited political aims, and then there is the politicisation that would refuse any predetermined script other than the call for liberation. It insists on the political nature of tragedy, not to shunt it towards one or another narrative pit, or to put a left-ish or right-ish filter over the images of bloodshed, but because politics is a way out of all this. Atrocity demands solidarity. Absolute sympathy for the victims; for all victims. To insist on having an opinion, not the knowing sneer of someone who was right all along, but undiminished solidarity in the face of devastation. To fight against those who attack concerts and cafes, those who bomb cities with fighter jets and with their own bodies, those who abandon migrants to the cold outside their borders, and those sent them fleeing. To struggle: the common struggle of all who suffer, against suffering.
How to politicize a tragedy
posted by y2karl at 10:13 PM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


explanations of why we should use Daesh seem to be pretty weak and are probably more "because it makes certain people more comfortable to use a name that does not include the word 'Islamic'."

It makes this particular person more comfortable to use, in English-language reportage, a name that does not include even an abbreviated form of the English word "State".

The media at large certainly has a propaganda agenda of its own, and that is to promote the kind of ongoing disquiet that keeps people subscribing to newspapers, and one of the ways it promotes that kind of disquiet is by consistent use of reminders built into its terminology. Consider the absolute consistency with which the phrase "Sinn Féin" was not that long ago always followed by the specific words "the political wing of the IRA".

It's my belief that the general unwillingness of news media to avoid conferring the gravitas of a State upon one bunch of murderous thugs among many is another example of the same kind of self-serving propaganda choice.
posted by flabdablet at 10:20 PM on November 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean, no matter your feelings about God, Allah, Israel, Syria, refugees, etc. all politics is local and everyone wants garbage pick up, clean water, decent sewers, protection from epidemics and so forth

...and given their druthers, most folks don't want these things provided by foreign troops who also run them down with their Humvees and occasionally bomb their weddings with their flying death robots.
posted by flabdablet at 10:25 PM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kundnani makes a good case that the methods used by the security services against terrorism are not just oppressive, but actually counterproductive in terms of whether they stop terrorism.
Our penchant for movie plots blinds us to the broader threats. And security theater consumes resources that could better be spent elsewhere.
...
Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.
posted by flabdablet at 10:36 PM on November 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


More Schneier: How the NSA Threatens National Security
posted by flabdablet at 10:43 PM on November 19, 2015


“ 47 Democrats Just Voted for Terror,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 19 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 11:06 PM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


the long drawn out unclear explanations of why we should use Daesh seem to be pretty weak and are probably more "because it makes certain people more comfortable to use a name that does not include the word 'Islamic'.

[...] much more believable explanation than the long drawn out 'it sounds funny' explanation.


I keep hearing the "because it doesn't contain the word Islamic" thing here in Italy too, but.... acronyms don't contain words, so this ends up just sounding like a misguided attempt at allyship.

The fact that it is obscure to us, its meaning and purpose lost on us until someone explains it in longform, by drawing a more precise picture of the issue, surely says more about how foreign all this still feels to us, how far we are from understanding what's at play, than about the strength/believability of an explanation.

It makes this particular person more comfortable to use, in English-language reportage, a name that does not include even an abbreviated form of the English word "State".

Interestingly, here's Alice Guthrie quoting Khaled al-Haj Saleh, who coined the term:
al-Haj Salih says his main goal in making a new name for Daesh was to avoid people getting used to referring to a tyrannical and despotic movement as a ‘state’.

posted by progosk at 11:21 PM on November 19, 2015


NYT: As France and Belgium Strengthen Security, a Classic Debate Arises.

(No need for me to dust off the historical quote, I guess.)
posted by progosk at 1:02 AM on November 20, 2015


Ongoing right now, hostages taken in the Radisson Blu in Bamako, Mali (part of Francophone West Africa)
posted by infini at 2:52 AM on November 20, 2015


Mali... grauniad live updates
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:00 AM on November 20, 2015


Another day and another terrible moment for humanity.
posted by humanfont at 4:52 AM on November 20, 2015


via Reuters: Supporters of al-Qaeda-affiliated group claim responsibility for attack in Mali
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 AM on November 20, 2015


via Reuters: Supporters of al-Qaeda-affiliated group claim responsibility for attack in Mali

(Note: Cold tactical discussion of horrible events. Caution is advised.)

Yeah, this didn't look like ISIL. ISIL doesn't really take hostages except in territory near/in where they control, where they can ensure rescue attempts will fail, or at least be incredibly difficult to pull off. Then, they'll try the ransom trick, or just kill the hostage horribly for propaganda purposes later. Outside that territory, they go for casualties, not hostages.

If this was an ISIL attack, they would have gone into that hotel and kept shooting until they ran out of ammo, and then probably detonate their explosive vests.

Remember the posit of ISIL. They are the Caliphate, and anybody who didn't immediately move to join the caliphate is either an apostate muslim or a heathen refusing to pay the jizya (if Jewish or Christian) or just an outright heathen (if not.) The first and last, to them, deserve death as soon as possible. The middle? Enslave the women and children, kill the men.

Charming folks, I know. But that position means that running into a building and taking hostages is counterproductive. It just ties up warriors who could be killing heathen and apostates. So, they just shoot to kill, move on to the next spot, and repeat up until they escape clean or they're dead.
posted by eriko at 7:10 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


A third body has been found in the rubble of the St. Denis building raided Wednesday.

I should note that this may well be an innocent victim, caught in the crossfire and explosions, so I'm not willing to call it a "third terrorist."
posted by eriko at 7:35 AM on November 20, 2015






Err, nevermind. He ended up voting with the Islamophobic cowards anyway.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:54 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, At least one GOP rep is not an Islamophobic coward.

All credit where due. Thank you, Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK).
But if we use our passions and our anger, fear, and we use that to snuff our her flame by xenophobic and knee-jerk policy, the enemy wins. We have played into their hands. Period
Amen, sir, Amen.
posted by eriko at 7:55 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Err, nevermind.

Dammit. Fuck you, Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK).
posted by eriko at 7:55 AM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Further to eriko's comment, note that MINUSMA (the UN stabilization mission in Mali) is authorized until 2016. In terms of total fatalities, it's the most dangerous current peacekeeping mission in Africa at the moment.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:05 AM on November 20, 2015






Reuters Exclusive: Paris police saw woman bomber meet attack chief Abaaoud - source. Police on Tuesday followed a woman they knew had links to the suspected mastermind of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks and watched her take him into the building that special forces attacked early the next morning, a police source told Reuters.

French police had been tapping the phone of Hasna Aitboulahcen as part of an investigation into potential drug offences and were able to track her down in the St. Denis suburb north of the French capital
posted by rosswald at 8:59 AM on November 20, 2015


While we're rating our reps, here's a shout-out to Seth Moulton, my Congressman, who not only called out the governor but has been posting pro-refugee content on Facebook and has already hosted a refugee himself.
posted by Miko at 9:05 AM on November 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Trump goes from crypto-fascist to open fascist.

Trump has been an open fascist since the minute he started his presidential run. It was just a little easier to ignore before this latest spewing.
posted by holborne at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2015


The Trump thing, he's been a cute side show, but he's looking more like Greg Stillson.

...actually, that's not accurate. We're looking like the electorate that voted someone like Stillson into office.

Africa has always been like that. Deliver a ton of wheat, they’ll blow it up. Not because people don’t want it, but because someone doesn’t want someone else to have it. And if they don’t have the resources to distribute it themselves, and seen doing so, they won’t have power. And they (or anyone) won’t have the distribution resources because the no one wants anyone else to have them. Including outsiders. Mali in particular because you have to fly stuff in (and Algeria has been such a delightful excursion for the French in the past). Big. Shit. Sandwich.

Could be Belmokhtar’s outfit. A lot of people in Mali are still sore about Serval (google ). It’s not a dumb move to strike now in Mali (on the part of terrorists I mean)

France has an excellent history with expeditionary forces, as far as tactics and survival in sparse conditions go, they can (as very recently proven) swiftly field small, elite cadre tailored to a specific need that can adapt as the environment evolves. And their units (brigades) are regionally aligned, particularly in West Africa, so they know the area, language, etc, which bolsters their small size and mobility (don’t have to lug about a bunch of interpreters).
And tactical commanders are given a lot of latitude so they take the initiative instead of reacting. It’s a great package and it worked well for them. For a bit.

Light footprint means less boots on the ground. Fanatics are happy to wait until you turn over operations to the local security forces you trained. Wait a year or two. It’s like sweeping the sea in that regard. Doesn’t matter how great a broom.

So, from the red opfor side of the equation, yeah, strike now, make the French spread out so they can’t focus forces which negates their mobility and resourcefulness. Spread out not just in space, but time.

I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s a police problem, not a military one. And a political one of course. Our politicians tell us they can fix it tomorrow with surveillance, more laws, shooting the right people and enough of them, blah blah. Their guys tell them what’s one century more or less? So our mindset has to change.

I mean, preaching to the choir here how stupid our congress is being. But I'm saying, that's not the half of it. They're actively endangering us.
Like a carnie pushing the Tilt-A-Whirl faster and cranking up the music to disguise the sound of burnt out motor bearings. Anyone acknowledging the problem (or acknowledging a genuine solution) is part of and responsible for the problem. Groupthink is built into the system.
It’s not how they vote, it’s that the system makes it so they have to vote that way. Which they've voted for... Everyone wants change, no one's gonna vote for it or they'll be out of office.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:23 AM on November 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


There is a thread about how these attacks affect Americans. Maybe comments about how American politicians vote are more appropriate there?
posted by blub at 9:57 AM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]




WTF, a young London woman who ran away to join the PKK (the Marxists who've actually done the really heavy lifting against IS rather than sitting in lazy-boys firing million dollar drones) has been sent to jail for it in Britain.

"She spoke of her anger that Islamic State at that time was crushing her people in Kobani, the largely Kurdish city in Syria, and that no men were going out there to fight against Isis. She was attracted by the active role women were allowed to play in the PKK, the jury was told."

posted by colie at 10:15 AM on November 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Hemingway's Paris memoir rises to No 1 in France following terror attacks... A Moveable Feast aka Paris est une fête (Paris Is a Celebration)
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2015


The romanticising of the centre of Paris while the suburbs absolutely rot is part of the problem there though.
posted by colie at 10:53 AM on November 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have been loosely following the Lebanon airspace story since this morning since the way it was framed originally was that Russia had unilaterally shut down Lebanese airspace for three days - but this Foregin Policy story seems to have the most details:
While it turns out that Lebanese airspace will not be completely closed, the Russian military does seem like it will be doing something unusual over Lebanese skies over the next several days. Shortly after an announcement by the national news agency that Russian training and maneuvers “will bring air traffic to and from Beirut’s airport to a complete halt,” Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter told Reuters that the government had rejected the Russian request. Airlines flying out of Lebanon have found new routes out of the country to avoid the Russian military operations, which will allow flights to continue, albeit with significant delays.

Not everyone believes that military drills are the sole reason for this dramatic move. “This could be a lot of things, but is probably about the Russians using Lebanese airspace for Syria operations,” said Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The question is: Is it to attack ISIS, or other groups?”
posted by rosswald at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


BBC One - This week; Andrew Neil – Islamist scumbags' who will never defeat Paris.
posted by adamvasco at 11:09 AM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apologies if it's already been linked (it's a long thread and I can't Ctrl+F on my phone), but @ParisVictims is tweeting a photo and details of every person who died. It's unbearably sad.
posted by billiebee at 12:05 PM on November 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks, billiebee. It's a good complement to the Buzzfeed list of the victims that someone posted upthread.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 12:57 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good for the UK. We need to discourage this behavior. War tourism, however well intentioned is terrible and makes the world a more violent place.

Anyone seeking to help the Kurds or Syrians should probably work through an established and mainstream relief organization.

Also the UK lists the PKK as a proscribed terrorist organization. The US does as well, along with the EU and NATO. There are other Kurdish groups such as the YPG and Iraqi Kurdish groups who are not designated this way, are the once officially receiving aid and support.
posted by humanfont at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also the UK lists the PKK as a proscribed terrorist organization

The PKK, or to be more accurate, the HPG, the armed wing of the PKK, has been in armed conflict with Turkey since 1984. (Of course, Turkey just loves beating up on Kurds, so...) Since Turkey is a NATO ally, anybody fighting them falls automatically into the "Not Ally" camp, and since they're not a state actor, that made them a rebel group. And legally, that makes them terrorists in the UK/US eyes. Nevermind that Turkey and Iraq wouldn't let the Kurds form a state, etc.

They declared a ceasefire in 2013, but it's fallen by the wayside this year, see the 2015 PKK rebellion. This happened because Turkey started to bomb ISIL, and decided "WTF, lets bomb the PKK too!"

Since the YPG and such never really fought Turkey, they never were condemned by NATO members.

So: There you go. Never mind that Turkey is one of the shittier neighbors to have in the world, they're NATO, and thus, Turkey Right, PKK Wrong.

(Of course, this dynamic causes all sorts of problem when it's Turkey vs. Greece, since Greece, as a NATO member, is also right. Well now...that's not helping. Sucks to be Cyprus, divided in two to placate two NATO members. Geopolitics is just fucked up.)
posted by eriko at 2:55 PM on November 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


War tourism, however well intentioned is terrible and makes the world a more violent place.

i still remember you, eric blair.
posted by andrewcooke at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]




"It's essentially a propaganda countermeasure against the language chosen by fearmongering dickheads in our own communities."

So, it's a semantic act to dehumanize the enemy.
That's bloody grand.
posted by clavdivs at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


a semantic act to dehumanize the enemy

would involve building them up in the public mind into this monstrous thing that we have no realistic choice except to go to war with.

Referring to a particular pack of dickheads with a label not of their own choosing does not amount to dehumanizing anybody. Being a dickhead - even being a member of a pack of dickheads - is something every human has experienced at some point in their lives.

Of course, most people won't ever belong to a pack of dickheads with an ideology as fucked as Daesh's. On the other hand, there is nothing actually inhuman about subscribing to a completely fucked ideology. This is a thing that people do.

There is also nothing inhuman about being tracked down by the police in the country where you live and being held to account for crimes against your fellow humans.
posted by flabdablet at 8:50 PM on November 20, 2015




From Paris, With Love scrawled across US bombs destined for Syria.
posted by Justinian at 9:27 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


On my Facebook feed, this has brought out the very best of most people and the very worst of a few. I've made judicious use of the hide from feature. My very, very conservative Catholic friend has been on the front line of cutting down the anti-Islam rhetoric. I feel like there's been a sea change from past terrorist attacks, and I'm hanging my hope on that, because I need hope right now.
posted by Ruki at 9:32 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


They have tanks and rockets. I am very skeptical that one can police a huge criminal gang that possesses tanks. (All the more reason our civilian police should be more like Bobbies.) There's a point where cartel/triad/dictatorship/Daesh outfits are defeated through use of military tools, tactics, and morality.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 PM on November 20, 2015


Reuters - Brussels metro shut as Belgian capital put on maximum alert

Belgium raised the alert status for its capital Brussels to the highest level on Saturday, shutting the metro and warning the public to avoid crowds because of a "serious and imminent" threat of an attack.
posted by rosswald at 11:00 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


They have tanks and rockets

in the Middle East. Smuggle a tank into Europe? Not gonna happen.

Daesh in the Middle East is one militia among several fighting for dominance in a nasty sectarian civil war brought on as a consequence of the removal of Saddam Hussein followed by lukewarm and ambiguous US support for a revolt in Syria.

Daesh everywhere but the Middle East is cells - another word for smallish gangs - of mostly local ideologues conspiring to inflict spectacular local violence in the hope of provoking the usual overreaction from local governments and hate groups, thereby making the position of local Muslim youth even less tenable and increasing the number who will radicalise as a result.

Daesh is in no way an existential threat to any European country. The number of people killed and injured by all terrorism remains very small compared to the number killed by motor cars. Any country not in the grip of civil war that declares "war on terrorism" increases, not decreases, the actual risk that its citizens will be harmed by terrorists. It's formulaic, uninspiring political posturing and it makes even less sense than declaring war on internal combustion engines.
posted by flabdablet at 3:14 AM on November 21, 2015 [23 favorites]


The classic "dickhead" argument. "would involve building them up in the public mind into this monstrous thing that we have no realistic choice except to go to war with.

A lot of people already fighting them.
Are they not, monster-like?

Well, you could smuggle a rocket into Europe in a car, covers both your criteria. Of course ISiS won't attack
with tanks, it's not the method, proven over history that weak enemies use to wage war.
The death by auto vs. terrorism analogy has always been interesting.

In the wake of the malfunctions and the VW software scam, perhaps there is something to that, like the feeling of being cheated because the Jetta is loaded with lying software.
posted by clavdivs at 5:21 AM on November 21, 2015




"Since ISIS is first and foremost a culture, not a militia, how do you prevent future generations from turning to jihadism when the influence of Fatwa Valley and its clerics and its culture and its immense editorial industry remains intact?"

From meatbombs' NY linked article.

An excellent example of geo-political semantics and a good question.
posted by clavdivs at 7:05 AM on November 21, 2015


step 1 to defeating isis: refer to them exclusively as Meanies Organised to Ruin Our Nice Stuff (MORONS)
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:19 AM on November 21, 2015


Update on Schumer's position re: refugees: Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday that he is no longer open to a so-called pause in the flow of Syrian refugees into the United States. It was still cowardly to even consider a pause, but at least he ended up doing the right thing.
posted by gwint at 7:35 AM on November 21, 2015


Step 1: push like hell to get the whole world running off renewable energy, reducing the value of the remaining Saudi oil deposits to something much less disproportionately high.

They're doomed anyway, what with oil being non-renewable and all; once it's gone it's gone for good. But the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones, and there's no good reason to prolong the ridiculous geopolitics underpinning the Oil Age until we run out of oil.

Once Saudi Arabia gets to the point where it can't just suck money out of the ground any more, internal competition for control of such riches as remain will tear the power of the true believers to pieces. God won't provide huge fuck-off yachts, strings of huge fuck-off hotels, nor a huge fuck-off air force. Only money will do that. And once the oil money dries up and it becomes possible for the Saudi economy to tank, an army of clerics devoted to alienating every potential trading partner becomes a liability.

See? Declaring war on the internal combustion engine has at least as plausible a rationale as declaring war on terrorism.
posted by flabdablet at 7:59 AM on November 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


French state of emergency allows website blocking, device search powers
Hints it may make it illegal to merely visit sites connected with terrorism.
The new law would prevent any discussion of government surveillance, even in court.

An amendment that would've made it illegal to merely visit a site connected with terrorism was rejected. Currently, it is an offence if the visits are habitual and linked with preparations for concrete acts of terrorism. However, the French prime minister said that legislators will soon be discussing the matter again, suggesting that his government has plans to bring in a law along these lines.

Finally, La Quadrature du Net points out a worrying vagueness in a section of the new law dealing with powers to dissolve groups or associations that "take part in committing acts that seriously endanger the public order or whose activities facilitate or encourage committing such acts." For example, this could include "many associations promoting the use of encryption technologies, which are indeed used by criminals but also mainly by many innocent citizens."
posted by XMLicious at 8:24 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Once Saudi Arabia gets to the point where it can't just suck money out of the ground any more, internal competition for control of such riches as remain will tear the power of the true believers to pieces.

No. Daesh will gain power. Destitute, desperate people are its feedstock. An impoverished mid-East is a boon to their doomsday cult.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 AM on November 21, 2015


Daesh will gain power. Destitute, desperate people are its feedstock.

They're part of the picture, but you need money to blow stuff up. Ask Bin Laden.
posted by colie at 9:20 AM on November 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Not in my name" : Italy's Muslims rally against terrorism. (And here's a link to a report from the Italian press in the Italian language.)
posted by Sir Rinse at 2:05 PM on November 21, 2015


Swedish Jews close synagogues after terror threat raised
Synagogues across Sweden were closed down as a precautionary measure after Stockholm raised the country’s terror threat assessment level on Wednesday, the World Jewish Congress has announced.
[...]
The threat level was raised one notch to four, on a scale of five, meaning that there is a high probability that "persons have the intent and ability to carry out an attack."
The article says that one person has been arrested "in absentia". I have no idea what that means.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Italy's Muslims rally against terrorism.

Sadly, the rain-soaked few-hundred odd were immediately set upon by the xenophobic right as being too few, "proving" that "moderate Muslims" aren't the majority (if they exist at all...)

No wonder the head of France's Union of Democratic Muslims chose not to rally Muslims in Place de la Republique, going instead simply as a French citizen.
posted by progosk at 4:18 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Flourishing Black Market in Syrian Passports
Two men—a dead suicide bomber and a man in a Serbian migrant center—carried the same Syrian passport with the same details.


Interesting. I think the passport system is pretty much broken, certainly when the passports come from failed states.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:39 PM on November 21, 2015


Ed Vuillamy: Security and surveillance cast a dark shadow over France’s love of ‘liberté’ and ‘fraternité’.

A year ago Dominique de Villepin [French Prime minister 2005-2007, and foreign minister in 2002, when the Bush and Blair administrations prepared to invade Iraq] went on television to argue that “the war against terrorism cannot be won. The failure is already apparent. They are opportunists, a hidden hand.” He warned France against “following the United States in ideological messianism” and of “hatred against hatred, war against war”, urging “a political vision, political strategies”.

Last week, De Villepin said: “I don’t take it back. I don’t want to play the terrorists’ game. To make us think we are at war is a trap. They’re not an army of state, they’re groups of fanatics.” By bombing them, “we legitimise their claim to be at war. Indeed, they want to destroy us … they want to divide us and push us into civil war. But because a band of murderers and fanatics declare war, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of outbidding them”.


Here's De Villepin lucid analysis (with subtitles) in September 2014 (and again last week).

Ominously, there is renewed focus on the S-files:
"S Files are kept on individuals monitored for potential threat to security, kept by the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure – descendant of the committee of 1791. They have counter-espionage origins in the cold war, and include militants of the far left and right, and soccer hooligans. But the DGSI is now reported to hold at least 5,000 such files, three-quarters of which relate to Islamist extremism.

[...]
Last week, Laurent Wauquiez, number three in Nicolas Sarkozy’s opposition Republicans, resurrected the idea [that those identified on the S Files be put into “administrative detention”]: “Behind the attacks,” he said, “there are always people already identified by the authorities in the S Files, known to our services for their radicalisation but not arrested on the pretext that French law does not permit it. I propose precisely that we change our laws so as to permit us to act before these things happen, and place them in internment centres where they cannot harm us. I think it’s a sensible proposition which the French people will understand.”
posted by progosk at 12:29 AM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


A Stoush in Melton
There was a bit of a blue down in Melton as some Aussies had a stoush with a bunch of wankers with funny clothes1 and foreign ideas. I know they're not all terrorists, but some of them are2 and they need to come out and denounce it. Anyway, from what I hear the Aussies had the best of it.

1 Tensions also rose between members of anti-Islamic groups, with some calling others “not Australian” for covering their face with Australian flags and other masks.

2 Right-wing anti-Islam extremist Phillip Galea was found with tas