Bastille Day tragedy in Nice
July 14, 2016 4:02 PM   Subscribe

During Bastille Day celebrations on the Promenade des Anglais, which runs along the Mediterranean, a truck driver plowed through crowds (FR) over a long distance, then exited and began shooting. At time of posting, 60 are feared dead, and many more injured. That it was a planned attack is being evoked by witnesses and police: “People were shouting ‘It’s a terrorist attack, it’s a terrorist attack’, it was clear that the driver was doing it deliberately,” said Maryam Violet, an Iranian journalist visiting Nice.

The driver was shot dead by police on the scene, which has been confirmed by the préfecture de Nice.
posted by fraula (281 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Damn it.

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posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by BlueHorse at 4:06 PM on July 14, 2016


Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Maintenant et pour toujours.

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posted by Fizz at 4:07 PM on July 14, 2016 [29 favorites]


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:07 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by treepour at 4:08 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by gingerest at 4:08 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by Alterscape at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by killy willy at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh no. :( How awful. :( :(
posted by zarq at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. If we're going to have a thread this early when there's little info, we need folks to not speculate about what shitty people will say, not bring over the worst stuff you can find elsewhere, etc.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


France’s Itele TV channel is quoting an unnamed police source who says the death toll is now 73.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:10 PM on July 14, 2016


Reminder:

1. Choose not to hate.
2. Choose not to make baseless assumptions.
3. Choose not to be online.
4. Love.
5. Think.

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. Stay safe.

I hate that I've posted this exact same comment several times within the past few years. Too many times. Fuck.
posted by Fizz at 4:11 PM on July 14, 2016 [108 favorites]




Keep in mind there are those of us with close friends there too. Most of mine have checked in safe, but I'm sitting here shaking.
posted by fraula at 4:13 PM on July 14, 2016 [21 favorites]


"Another witness who owns a restaurant nearby, whom iTele did not identify, said that when the truck plowed into the crowd, it “crushed everyone in its path.” Then two men got out of the truck “and started shooting into the crowd, about 50 shots,” the witness said" [NYT]
posted by Mchelly at 4:13 PM on July 14, 2016


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.

Seconded. There has been a lot of awful recently, and we can feel that we must bear witness, we must feel it, we must be informed and involved. It is ok and necessary to take care of your own well being first.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by lalochezia at 4:15 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


also: fuck these psychopaths
posted by lalochezia at 4:18 PM on July 14, 2016 [14 favorites]


Always remember the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, too.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:20 PM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 4:23 PM on July 14, 2016


omg the aftermath videos on twitter are horrible. authorities are asking that people not post images of victims.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:24 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 4:25 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by avalonian at 4:26 PM on July 14, 2016


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merde
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:28 PM on July 14, 2016


Oh holy mother of God. I hope our local mefites and friends and family are safe. I'm so sorry for the victims and wish the world was not what it is.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:28 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by en forme de poire at 4:30 PM on July 14, 2016


fire at Eiffel Tower?
posted by robbyrobs at 4:31 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by pjsky at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is so awful. I feel guilty disengaging from the news, but there is just so much bad right now.
posted by Salieri at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Eiffel Tire fire is an accident with a lit firework falling into a truck.
posted by maudlin at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


i haven't watched the videos but i've seen a lot of really strong warnings against watching them. be careful with your brains out there. you don't have to personally bear witness to every mass killing. if you need to not watch, that's ok.
posted by nadawi at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2016 [37 favorites]


fire at Eiffel Tower?


Reported elsewhere as misleading smoke from Bastille Day fireworks.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:33 PM on July 14, 2016


I just don't even know what to say anymore. I feel like I'm constantly heartbroken.

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posted by gatorae at 4:33 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]




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posted by supermassive at 4:35 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:35 PM on July 14, 2016


Christ.

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posted by Pope Guilty at 4:37 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by introp at 4:37 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by Jubey at 4:40 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by ambrosen at 4:41 PM on July 14, 2016


It is so fucking unfair how much easier it is to kill people and destroy things than to generate culture and civilization and all the good stuff. I don't even know how to make so many people's lives as much better as this person/people hurt them, and I'm confident it'd take more than a truck.
posted by Schismatic at 4:41 PM on July 14, 2016 [88 favorites]


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posted by crush-onastick at 4:44 PM on July 14, 2016


Jesus god, how terrible. What a terrible year. What a terrible year for France. I hope everyone's friends, relatives and colleagues are safe.
posted by Frowner at 4:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Someone please give France a break.
posted by shoesietart at 4:45 PM on July 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


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posted by inconsequentialist at 4:46 PM on July 14, 2016


*deep breaths*
Aching heart
Hugs y'all, much love to everyone in France tonight.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:46 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by Dysk at 4:48 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by valkane at 4:48 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by tonycpsu at 4:50 PM on July 14, 2016


For a bit of background (I'm numb, typing helps): the Promenade des Anglais is a four-to-six-lane road, with an additional cycling+pedestrian path alongside the beach, whose width is equivalent to about two car lanes. Even with its width, in summer the beach and pedestrian path are crowded full. All the more so on a holiday like today. For that reason, vehicle traffic is usually blocked off for fireworks, to allow for more pedestrians.

That a truck would plow through like this is – no matter what the intent – striking at the joy, relaxation and safety we all feel on the Promenade. After Paris, the Promenade is a symbol of another France; the hopeful, relaxed France that goes on holiday. It's a long-running joke (based on reality) that Parisians go to Nice on holiday, and Niçois go anywhere other than Nice. Except around Bastille Day, because we all love watching the fireworks over the Mediterranean.
posted by fraula at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [75 favorites]


So fucking tired. So sorry.

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posted by Splunge at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


God, damn them.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by notyou at 4:52 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by photo guy at 4:53 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by Carillon at 4:55 PM on July 14, 2016


What do we even say anymore in the wake of events like this? 2013-2016, you're breaking my heart. Stop taking our friends and family from us.

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posted by Hermione Granger at 4:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Reminder: The Take Care of Yourself MetaTalk thread is still open and available. Be kind.
posted by Fizz at 4:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


Just checking on the Le Monde live feed I posted in the French link of the OP – be careful with links posted in it too, it's very early morning here and apparently they're going with sensation over information at the moment.
posted by fraula at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2016


It's too, too much. The first one was already too much and then another and another. What to do that matters? Love each other, yes, definitely. But still.

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posted by but no cigar at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I watched the videos. I easily fall prey to the "bear witness" mentality.

Oh god, I wish I hadn't watched. No victim in the world would want someone to bear witness to them in that state. It was awful and violating that I saw it, and I turned the video off after a few moments. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I thought that because someone else had to suffer something terrible, I had to be willing to watch it, and I am so sorry I thought that.

Don't watch the videos.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2016 [63 favorites]


So terrible, I just don't even know what to say anymore.

Sending love and support to anyone who needs a little extra tonight.

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posted by TwoStride at 5:03 PM on July 14, 2016


Bear witness with random acts of kindness.
posted by fraula at 5:03 PM on July 14, 2016 [20 favorites]


"Random act of kindness" - You know what, I'm not picky, the act of kindness can be directed or even sorta self-serving, as long as it's fucking kind. Get out there and be kind, ya bastards! Go!
posted by gingerest at 5:08 PM on July 14, 2016 [31 favorites]


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Love will win. We all must just be very patient, and very tough and brave. And together.
posted by vrakatar at 5:09 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by grumpybear69 at 5:10 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by klausness at 5:11 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by drezdn at 5:11 PM on July 14, 2016


I am afraid of what will happen in reaction to this.
posted by prefpara at 5:13 PM on July 14, 2016 [14 favorites]


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posted by SillyShepherd at 5:17 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by samhyland at 5:19 PM on July 14, 2016


2016 has been a pretty shit year so far. Take care, everyone.
posted by rtha at 5:21 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


When I was at the Black Lives Matter protest last week and we were up on the side of the highway and all the people were getting gassed down below, there was this girl and her boyfriend behind me, and she was upset and started crying, and what she was saying was "I don't like this reality". God, she was right. I don't like this reality at all.
posted by Frowner at 5:23 PM on July 14, 2016 [92 favorites]


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posted by pointystick at 5:24 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by buzzman at 5:26 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by pemberkins at 5:27 PM on July 14, 2016


Don't watch the videos.

I was in a crowd that a vehicle drove into once, and I still can't believe no one was killed. I don't intend to relive any of that by watching any horror video. This incident was far worse than what I was in.
posted by thelonius at 5:31 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Damnit, not again.

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posted by homunculus at 5:32 PM on July 14, 2016


OK, done with 2016 now.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:34 PM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by MelanieL at 5:37 PM on July 14, 2016


Via Reddit:
Embassies in France Phone numbers:

Irish +33144176700
India: +33140507070
Germany: +33153834500
Spain: +33144431800
Italy: +33149540300
British: +33144513100
US: +33143122222
Australia: +33140593300
Canada: +33144432900
Dutch: +33 1 40 62 33 00
posted by Fizz at 5:39 PM on July 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


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posted by spinifex23 at 5:42 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by adamvasco at 5:43 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by Bob Regular at 5:43 PM on July 14, 2016


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I can't believe this. Every week... every few days, it seems. It doesn't feel normal yet. I say "yet", it feels like it might. Awful.
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


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Please take care of yourselves, friends.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:47 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by defenestration at 5:50 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by destructive cactus at 5:50 PM on July 14, 2016


This is monstrous, disgusting. I hope you guys and your loved ones are ok.
Don't watch the videos. I will regret clicking on that forever.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 5:52 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Janta at 5:53 PM on July 14, 2016


Seems just as your heart starts to close up another one of these occurs and it rips back open for humanity. Tears and thoughts for those in France and the world.
posted by kanata at 5:53 PM on July 14, 2016


Twitter is to be avoided: heartbreaking images and assholes.

Poop.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:55 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I watched the videos. I easily fall prey to the "bear witness" mentality.

Oh god, I wish I hadn't watched. No victim in the world would want someone to bear witness to them in that state. It was awful and violating that I saw it, and I turned the video off after a few moments. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I thought that because someone else had to suffer something terrible, I had to be willing to watch it, and I am so sorry I thought that.

Don't watch the videos.


Thank you for posting this. Seriously, thank you.
posted by lalex at 5:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [64 favorites]


All those horrible terrorist attacks in multiple countries during Ramadan, and now this. What. The. Fuck. Who does this? Why, why, why?

way too many .
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by lizjohn at 6:01 PM on July 14, 2016


The Guardian live-blog is not hugely graphic (at least now: it's a liveblog, so I guess that could change), for anyone who wants to avoid the worst images. The video doesn't autoplay and so far hasn't shown any victims. It's people running away. There are some photos of bodies covered in sheets on the second page, and there are some photos of people receiving medical treatment, but you can't see any signs of injury. I'm trying to avoid anything really disturbing, and so far it's been ok.

I really wish that media outlets would provide some sort of safe page for the horrifying-image-adverse.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:03 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


My dearest colleague is in the south of France right now, on a well-deserved, month-long vacation. She's attending the wedding of the daughter of one of her oldest friends. She moved to Paris in the early 70s from Iran to attend the Sorbonne. Many of her friends from that time still live in France; she's in California. They will be at the wedding, some of whom she hasn't seen in decades. She's been bursting with excitement about this trip for months.
She is a relentlessly cautious person; it's a running joke between the two of us, as she teases me back for being too easy-breezy. But it's been her husband, not her, who fretted relentlessly over the trip. He asked her several times if she thought it was safe, and whether they should cancel their plans. I remember her shaking her head, joking about how she's Iranian, and what danger could possibly rattle an Iranian in the south of France!
My heart aches for her, for the newlyweds who are getting married now, for everyone who lost their lives or their loved ones, and all of France. What a terrifying, terrible tragedy.
posted by missmary6 at 6:04 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


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posted by Mitheral at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2016


There's a twitter account for people seeking people who were in the area. Warning - this might be upsetting.
posted by Death and Gravity at 6:13 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really wish that media outlets would provide some sort of safe page for the horrifying-image-adverse.

FWIW, the reddit live thread is moderated and states in the sidebar "Please do not send images or videos of the attack as they will not be posted" so that's probably a relatively safe bet (other than here, of course).
posted by randomnity at 6:17 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm glad that the vast majority of Mefites can respond to this situation with sorrow and compassion. Hopefully that will offset all the deep, burning rage that I put out there. It's really never going to end, is it?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:21 PM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Honestly, I feel exhausted. I have raged so much this year that I don't even have the emotional energy for rage anymore.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:23 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by dougzilla at 6:25 PM on July 14, 2016


Absolutely terrifying. The usual bromides don't seem to suffice. France deserves better.
posted by dmh at 6:29 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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It's just too much.
posted by anya32 at 6:29 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by wallabear at 6:36 PM on July 14, 2016


For some reason I keep learning of these events on the blue. I start reading the post and think I am reading about a horrible event in history that a Mefite has made a post about, so that we don't forget, or so that we learn about it in the first place. Reminders of histories that don't need repeating. And I think "How did I never learn about this event? It seems like something I would know about". Then such a sick feeling.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 6:37 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


[One deleted; please don't couch comments as "here's a bad/harmful framing of these events" -- it's just going to provoke a bunch of reaction to the bad framing, no matter how much you disclaim it. Just skip introducing the bad framing to the thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:40 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


What I'm feeling more than anything else, is sadness and a weird kind of fatigue and numbness. Which bugs me, too.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on July 14, 2016 [37 favorites]


I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:43 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


jonmc, me too.
posted by nickmark at 6:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Gotanda at 6:46 PM on July 14, 2016


choose love. choose peace.
posted by nadawi at 6:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


There are times that the thing that keeps me from voluntarily leaving this planet is that terrorists would approve of one less of my kind.

Fuck them and all this hate eternally. Peace, one day.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:53 PM on July 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


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posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:58 PM on July 14, 2016


God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule:
Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:58 PM on July 14, 2016 [48 favorites]


Chilling and heartbreaking. I have no doubt that as with the killings in Paris, the identities of the victims, once known, will reflect the deep diversity of urban France.

There is no feasible amount of surveillance or security that can stop someone bent on it from driving a truck into a crowd. The only way to prevent people from being able to do this is to reduce the number of people who want to do this.
posted by threeants at 6:58 PM on July 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 7:01 PM on July 14, 2016


Francois Hollande is giving a press conference... He says:

“France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.

“I have decided that the state of emergency which was supposed to end on July 26 will be extended by three months.

“Nothing will lead us to give in to our will to fight against terrorism. We are going to strengthen our efforts in Syria and Iraq against those who are attacking us on our very soil.”

Nightmare.
posted by prefpara at 7:02 PM on July 14, 2016 [16 favorites]


Yeah Hollande's comments were horrifying.
posted by zutalors! at 7:04 PM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Has the gunfire by the assailants after they exited the truck been independently verified yet, or could that still be a false report?

People of France, you have my deepest sympathies. You've been taking a pounding.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:04 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by culfinglin at 7:06 PM on July 14, 2016


I am not aware whether it is has been confirmed to be an ISIS attack yet but it seems very likely. In that light it may be worthwhile to read this piece on ISIS published by ProPublica a couple of days ago.
posted by dmh at 7:07 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by tobascodagama at 7:08 PM on July 14, 2016


In which Hollande runs screaming to outflank Le Pen.

*headdesk*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:10 PM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yeah the only more "mission accomplished" you could wish for as a terrorist would be for a President Trump.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sending love to everyone who needs it tonight. Nice, we stand by you.

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posted by newdaddy at 7:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Did Hollande spend his entire life undercover just so he could become the worst socialist ever? Because "sleeper agent" is the only way he makes any sense to me at this point.
posted by Etrigan at 7:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


when we invaded iraq after 9/11 i stayed on my couch/futon for days, calling in to work, drinking, getting high, watching cnn and cspan until i couldn't take it anymore and then playing animal crossing - just back and forth for days. of all the low points in my life it really ranks down there. this feels like that. shit is dark and i am treading water.
posted by nadawi at 7:18 PM on July 14, 2016 [41 favorites]


I am in horror. Guardian now reporting, "Donald Trump, who has postponed the unveiling of his vice presidential running mate in response to the attack in Nice, indicated he would be prepared to seek a formal declaration of war from the US Congress and commit ground troops to the conflict."
posted by prefpara at 7:19 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hollande is using an archaic mindset, war between states. When what would help, in the case of, say, local, disaffected young men gripped by an ideology that offers answers, empowerment, acceptance, is tolerance at home, welcome. The less tolerance at home, the more actions like this; the more death, the less tolerance, the more hunger there is for a good old war. The paradox is counted upon and I think uncontrollable, at this point.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:21 PM on July 14, 2016 [40 favorites]




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posted by toerinishuman at 7:26 PM on July 14, 2016


We can see what is happening like it's Groundhog Day, the move rightward, the increased xenophobia, troops on the ground and detention camps and torture, another decade of ill-defined global war on terror that further destabilizes and radicalizes regions, erosion of civil liberties, hate crimes, nothing fixed, more terrorism and people dead in the streets, only further into the quagmire. The predictability is sickening.
posted by naju at 7:28 PM on July 14, 2016 [80 favorites]


I, too, am feeling the numbness. I made the mistake of watching a few seconds of the videos -- now it is numbness mixed with deep dread and despair. I don't know what to do except keep plugging away at my tasks and tune out as much as I can, to hold my sanity together. If I didn't have the reliably smart and thoughtful input from MetaFilter these days I don't know what I'd do. Stay safe, everyone, and do what you need to do to protect your emotional health right now. French MeFites, I am so sorry, I hope you all are safe.
posted by palomar at 7:29 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by sammyo at 7:36 PM on July 14, 2016


I applaud Hollande's statement, and am hopeful that he will take measures to prevent further atrocities of this sort from happening on French soil. It would be easy to blame intolerance for the occurrence of such attacks, but such an explanation would be specious: Europeans are far more tolerant of Muslims than they are of Roma (source), but the latter are not responsible for any terrorist attacks. It is radical Islamic organizations based in the Middle East, such as ISIS, who are responsible for these attacks; and Hollande seems to have concluded that we must first defeat these organizations abroad if we are to defeat terrorism in Europe.
posted by Abelian Grape at 7:37 PM on July 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


naju, I couldn't have stated it any better. dog help us all.
posted by bologna on wry at 7:38 PM on July 14, 2016


It feels like civilization isn't very civilizing. It's just a different way of organizing people who are just as brutal and just as vicious as they were in the dark ages. Feels like a world of walking wounded looking for someone to hurt back.
posted by prefpara at 7:39 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


So I'm recovering from a bona fide nervous breakdown. And I'm really, legitimately starting to wonder if it was a fluke of brain chemistry or because 2016 has just been a shitty year. That's an honest question I'll be bringing up with my therapist tomorrow. Mon Dieu.
posted by Ruki at 7:40 PM on July 14, 2016 [20 favorites]


I mean, just that quote from Trump... I.. I seriously can't even. I.. just. No. Fucking NO. NO.

How is it so fucking hard to grasp that the answer to murder IS NOT MORE MURDER?!

breathe.
posted by bologna on wry at 7:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


a formal declaration of war from the US Congress and commit ground troops to the conflict

One of the stated goals of ISIS is American ground troops in Syria. Powerful recruitment tool.
posted by zutalors! at 7:46 PM on July 14, 2016 [26 favorites]


It's so, so easy to do so much damage. You don't need access to guns, or bombs; you don't need any unusual skills. Anyone could do it. This could be happening every day... and it isn't. There's some solace in that.
posted by alexei at 7:53 PM on July 14, 2016 [25 favorites]


Fuck 2016.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:54 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yep, civilization is a thin veneer.
posted by Strange_Robinson at 7:54 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


i don't know how anyone can support a plan of 'boots on the ground will defeat terror' after watching the last 15 years play out. but hey, keep fucking that chicken, i guess.
posted by nadawi at 7:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [106 favorites]


It would be easy to blame intolerance for the occurrence of such attacks, but such an explanation would be specious: Europeans are far more tolerant of Muslims than they are of Roma (source), but the latter are not responsible for any terrorist attacks.

"It would be easy to blame gasoline for the buildings that burned down, but such an explanation would be specious: there was far less gasoline poured on the buildings that burned down than the buildings across the street that did not, but the latter buildings are still standing."
posted by tonycpsu at 8:01 PM on July 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is heartbreaking and horrifying and the usual suspects are just playing into the hands of the perpetrators. Newt fucking Gingrich is on Fox saying "We should...test every person here who is of a Muslim background, & if they believe in shariah they should be deported" and this, this is precisely how ISIS gets what it wants. I'm devastated for the lives lost in France, and terrified for all the innocent people I love who are going to pay the price if this kind of vicious rhetoric continues to gain steam.
posted by karayel at 8:01 PM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


Jesus Fucking Christ. It looks like 2016 will be remembered as the year that Stand On Zanzibar became history instead of fiction.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:09 PM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


" It would be easy to blame intolerance for the occurrence of such attacks, but such an explanation would be specious"

No, this comment is the specious one. Native-born Muslims far outnumber Roma in France, and on the one hand are supposed to have all the rights of other French people, but are stigmatised, while Roma in France are often migrants from further east. Obviously there are other factors, such as the influence of extremists from Muslim countries elsewhere, but they couldn't appeal to the native-born without the racism providing a handy wedge.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:12 PM on July 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


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posted by Mister Bijou at 8:15 PM on July 14, 2016


Yep, civilization is a thin veneer.

All the more reason to keep it shiny and well maintained.
posted by notyou at 8:15 PM on July 14, 2016 [33 favorites]


It's really never going to end, is it?

Oh it's going to end, one way or the other. Neither way will be very pleasant however.
posted by adecusatis at 8:19 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


when we invaded iraq after 9/11 i stayed on my couch/futon for days, calling in to work, drinking, getting high, watching cnn and cspan until i couldn't take it anymore and then playing animal crossing - just back and forth for days. of all the low points in my life it really ranks down there.

You and me both, pretty much, except I was just listening to Kid A on repeat. Those were difficult days and weeks; but of course, nothing compared to the suffering of those in Iraq itself.
posted by jokeefe at 8:22 PM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Maybe it's time to face up to the fact that it's unsustainable to have first and third worlds, first and second-class citizens, and supposed "democracies" that prop up horrible dictatorships and tear down secular democratic movements in areas like, say, those that happen to be heavily Muslim.

Or sure, keep pretending that the status quo won't keep inviting this or other things like it, especially once the global warming refugees and resource conflicts really start to become an issue. Then you're just inviting "solutions" like those coming from Hollande and Trump.
posted by anarch at 8:22 PM on July 14, 2016 [19 favorites]


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posted by longdaysjourney at 8:35 PM on July 14, 2016


I appreciate your comment, anarch. I'm a Dallas native, and recent events have left me calloused.

We can't help electing warmongers. All the presidents I've been alive for have been warmongers. Whomever we elect next will be a warmonger. My biggest disappointment with Bernie was to learn he was a warmonger too. It took all my enthusiasm away. For whatever reason, Americans cannot take seriously someone unwilling to start, or continue, another imperialist war.

You reap what you sow is old time wisdom that we cannot seem to learn.

I love the French. Maybe not so much to be called a Francophile, but enough that I fantasize about going expat to Paris. I am truly sorry this happened, but it does not surprise me.

I probably ought to sign off. Christ, I planned to quit smoking tomorrow.
posted by Strange_Robinson at 8:49 PM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


[Several comments deleted. Let's not get ahead of what we actually know here, and let's also not broaden this out to rehash our favorite geopolitical arguments about US foreign policy. Abelian Grape, you've made your statement, gonna ask that you step away from this for a while rather than setting up a one-stop fight shop in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


This could be happening every day... and it isn't.

This is my perspective, too.

10 of the worst attacks a year is 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1 billion people crossing that particular line each year.

I don't know what motivates these few terrorists, I don't know what we can do to stop it, but I do know CNN didn't run the story for days and days when we kill in these numbers.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:59 PM on July 14, 2016 [14 favorites]


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posted by Autumn Leaf at 9:04 PM on July 14, 2016


Strange_Robinson, Dallas' connection to France goes way back. Tonight there was a Bastille Day event in Bishop Arts, and there's one tomorrow Downtown. I live in Dallas and was in Nice a month ago for the Euro Cup, it feels like too much too fast for anyone to handle.
posted by erikgrande at 9:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


it feels like too much too fast for anyone to handle.

Not my personal experience, just generally.
posted by erikgrande at 9:23 PM on July 14, 2016


"10 of the worst attacks a year is 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1 billion people crossing that particular line each year."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks#2016

It's a lot more than 10 attacks.
posted by I-baLL at 9:28 PM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


I just... I just feel so bad right now... So badly for the French people...
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:39 PM on July 14, 2016


Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous français.

I am so sad for the victims and their loved ones. So sad for France. So sad for Islam. So sad to see the vicious cycle of hate and violence escalating once more.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 9:41 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


I notice that the Orlando shooting is in I-baLL's list. Which is... interesting.

Also: .
posted by klanawa at 9:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by greermahoney at 9:47 PM on July 14, 2016


A goddamn truck. How do you protect yourself against an attack like this?

.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh my god not again. I am just so sorry. And so sad. Please make the killing stop. It's getting so that I can't process them all any more. Kindness and mercy, please.
posted by Lynsey at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by ltl at 10:10 PM on July 14, 2016


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posted by stolyarova at 10:12 PM on July 14, 2016


There are times that the thing that keeps me from voluntarily leaving this planet is that terrorists would approve of one less of my kind.

Oh, I've totally had nights like this. And days where I don't start the process of leaving the US because then, the crazy right-wingers win. But, man, if you tend towards depression, this is a hard fight to keep fighting.

Space Kitty, I'll stay in the world if you do. Deal?
posted by greermahoney at 10:19 PM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's a lot more than 10 attacks.

Curiously, I see ~5 attacks in that list that I consider external terrorism targeting the west in the first half of this year.

The Islamic world is a mess from the Maghreb to the jungles of the Philippines. No news there.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 10:24 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, so sad.

Must concentrate on ways to dispel this feeling of things (Europe) coming apart at the seams.

Bad semantics are creeping right back in ("Islamic" instead of "islamist", as in the Hollande quote above)...

Going back to watching the New Zealand takeaway shop owner video again. That is the only effective response: refuse to be frightened.

Bear hugs and solidarité, wherever possible. (And: let's choose to look at/for the helpers.)
posted by progosk at 10:24 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Come on I-baLL, don't be obtuse. You know that comment wasn't saying that there had been 10 attacks this year, and that the number of attacks on that list is well within the point that was being made.

Also, I feel like if America's leaders, especially the conservatives, are so dedicated to Christian beliefs informing our morals and even our lawmaking, someone with church authority should be pointing out loudly, repeatedly, and publicly to them all the things Jesus said about loving the enemy and turning the other cheek and all that. There's stuff in the Bible that would be really useful in these cases, if anybody actually cared about the damned thing. We can't kill the idea, but we can change the mind that holds it.
posted by IAmUnaware at 10:26 PM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


This is horrible.
Fraula - I hope all your friends are safe by now.
I'm currently a 100k west of Nice, had a fairly tame Bastille Day with the kids, and just woke up to a flurry of messages from people checking in. I'm going to try to stay offline today.
What a nightmare. My heart goes out to all who lost friends and loved ones in Nice - and hugs to all of you shaken right now.
This is bad.
posted by motdiem2 at 10:41 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


nothing like waking up to a message asking if i'm ok after what happened in Nice. this is horrible.

i have a few french aquaintances here and i hope they did not know anyone in Nice.

how does this end? i don't even know how to be outraged anymore, i'm just sad.
posted by sio42 at 10:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


So, I'm visiting Paris right now. And I have a great (if a bit distant) view of the Eiffel Tower out my Airbnb window, so I was watching the fireworks from here last night so I could be in my underwear and go right to sleep after. I made an excited post to Facebook about watching the fireworks - which were spectacular even at this distance - and immediately after they were done I learned about Nice. And then turned off my computer in disgust and went to sleep. And then woke up to about a dozen posts from family and friends in the U.S. Asking if I was okay.

I'm fine, I told them - instead, they should spare their thoughts for the people of France I'd been seeing all day. Mefites here in Paris, and elsewhere in Frqnce, all the people I saw in my day yesterday.

I've also made an, um, "special friend" here who I met during my visit in December, and who also met up with me the night before last; we're going to try to meet up again during my week here. He's an indie filmmaker and wine buff whose films are all about great life-affirming things, like a deep dive into the history of a single vineyard or a documentary about teaching inner-city kids about classical music. I shot him an email hoping all his peeps were okay, and then talked about one of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists' responses to the Paris attacks - a meditation on Paris' motto, which the cartoonist concluded means "fuck death". Which is my motto now too.

Fuck death. embrace life.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:21 PM on July 14, 2016 [37 favorites]


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posted by SisterHavana at 11:25 PM on July 14, 2016


If the reports that this guy was a Tunisian-French petty criminal are true, then that fits the general profile. There's a horrible multifaceted systemic problem here, linking failure in French society generally (around integration, class and racism) to specific failings of the French police and criminal justice system to wider feelings of injustice and oppression among marginalised young men.

Only one thing I know for certain, bombing Syria more won't help one bit.

Inspire, Dabiq and the like have been advocating lone wolf attacks using vehicles as weapons for at least five years. If not more.
posted by knapah at 11:36 PM on July 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


.

A goddamn truck. How do you protect yourself against an attack like this?
same as planes, we'll just have everyone take their shoes off.

posted by j_curiouser at 12:37 AM on July 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's being pointed out that IS have not claimed credit for this attack, so it looks like a lone wolf action.
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:48 AM on July 15, 2016


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posted by MattWPBS at 12:51 AM on July 15, 2016


lone wolf scenario will not lessen the flames fanned by conservative bigots everywhere. twitter is awful. you all can read it for yourself, i won't repost. i don't understand how people can still think IS represents islam in any way. i do: it's racism and xenophobia and bigotry. but i still don't understand it.
posted by sio42 at 12:53 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


.
posted by crocomancer at 12:58 AM on July 15, 2016


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posted by ojemine at 1:26 AM on July 15, 2016


I'm not even going to try to find words this time. I just can't.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:28 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


This morning I woke up feeling like we've reached a tipping point; so much blood has been pushed into the ground that it's welling up everywhere, and we're drunk on it, caught in a cycle of despair and/or rage where the only option offered is more blood. The idea that, if we just repeat the cycle one more time, this time we'll get peace and ease, is so palpably wrong that I struggle with the idea that anyone would buy it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:51 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


Thanks motdiem. Am glad to hear you and yours are all right. I still haven't heard from everyone, and am numb because I know the next few days will not be good. I was a freelancer and then a salaried consultant for 14 years down there, meaning I worked in over a dozen different offices and met so very many people. I dread what's to come.

Dallas' connection to France goes way back.

Heh. A dear childhood friend (the fellow music major in my profile) lives in Dallas. I've been there a couple times, neat city. Too much heartbreak lately.

Everyone please take care of yourselves and each other.
posted by fraula at 2:12 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


.
So very sad. Please take care of yourselves and each other, everyone.
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:23 AM on July 15, 2016


Bad semantics are creeping right back in ("Islamic" instead of "islamist", as in the Hollande quote above)...

To be more specific: despite Hollande's verbatim being "terrorisme islamiste", the mistranslation to "Islamic terrorism" (earliest use I've found is the International Business Times) is being carried by Fox and many others. (Guardian had it too, but has since corrected it to "Islamist terrorism".)

It's little media details like this that are so subtly pernicious.
posted by progosk at 2:36 AM on July 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


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posted by Drinky Die at 2:39 AM on July 15, 2016


Reports are that the terrorist was a 31 year old French-Tunisian man named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. He apparently had a record of a few petty crimes but was not known to anti-terrorism authorities.
posted by Justinian at 3:09 AM on July 15, 2016


😪😪😪 I don't even have words any more.

🇫🇷 .
posted by ellieBOA at 3:28 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


A lovely hadeeth from Yassmin Abdel-Magied Yassmin Abdel-Magied

A short hadeeth...

There was a little bird (Ababeel) who lived during the time of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim AS). When the Prophet was thrown into fire by his enemy, the little bird saw and wanted to help.

The Ababeel started scooping up few drops of water in her tiny beak from the nearby river. The larger birds in the vicinity watched and laughed at the little bird.

"Where are you carrying the water?" they scoffed.

To which the Ababeel replied, "To put out the fire around Prophet Abraham!"

The larger birds continued laughing, their guffaws echoing around the valley. "How could you put out such a huge fire with such a small amount of water? It is pointless and useless."

The little bird tilted its head considering. Her beady eyes gleamed while she took a breath and replied.

"I don't think Allah (SWT) will ask me whether or not I put out the fire completely...but He will ask what I did towards stopping it."

***

Sometimes the 'fire' that we face in the world is overwhelming... but our task is not to fix it all. Our task is to add the droplets of water we can, inshallah.
posted by taff at 3:37 AM on July 15, 2016 [182 favorites]


I'm so sorry we live in a world where this can happen. I'm sorry for you fraula, for all our French MeFites, for France. This is a horrific thing but taff it was your comment that made me cry. I'm sorry for every time I thought I was too small to do anything and all the times I poured hate onto the fire that's raging around us instead of love. I'm sending my love to all of you, to every one of my fellow human beings, whether they are "with me" or not. Take care everyone.
posted by billiebee at 4:00 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 4:23 AM on July 15, 2016


I have friends in Nice. I have friends in Paris. I have friends in Beirut. I have friends in Brussels. I have friends in Orlando. I have friends in South Sudan. I have spent time on the phone talking to friends who are afraid to leave their apartments, or are under lockdown. And of course there are a lot of places where I do not have friends. But this all just feels so close.
posted by Nothing at 4:49 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


worst socialist ever

Worse than, say, Honecker or Jaruzelski or any one of a panoply of totalitarian goons? (That's not even counting the obvious candidates.)
posted by acb at 4:50 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's being pointed out that IS have not claimed credit for this attack, so it looks like a lone wolf action.

Whether this is a terrorist attack or just a disturbed individual carrying out a spree killing in the style that's currently (for want of a better word) fashionable is a matter of semantics. Take away his Muslim background, and it could be like the wave of mass shootings by disgruntled postal workers in the 90s, or high-school shootings by adolescent loners in the 00s.

It could even be a particularly vicious form of the Werther Effect, only rather than suicide in the news/fiction inspiring other people on the brink of suicide to do it, mass murder inspiring alienated psychopaths.
posted by acb at 4:55 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was off grid for a few days working on an earthship build in PEI, so I'm just learning about this now.

Fuck. Fuck this. I'm going back to the woods.

.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 5:21 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


is a matter of semantics

Strongly disagree that it makes no difference whether this was a lone nutjob or part of an organized terror campaign. In the latter case, there will be more killings from the same people, for starts.
posted by thelonius at 5:21 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


If the reports that this guy was a Tunisian-French petty criminal are true, then that fits the general profile.

Can we really look to a general profile like that? The Dhaka killers were wealthy and well educated. Ditto Mohammed Atta.

Genuinely curious - is there a semantic distinction in arabic or farsi between Islamic and Islamist, by which I mean two separate and well defined words, or is that an English language thing?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:23 AM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


The distinction between a lone nutjob and an organized terror campaign is very hazy at the moment. It seems that the MO of ISIS terror campaigns across the world is a distributed network of volunteers. Through which lone nutjobs (or teams of nutjobs) are inspired and plead allegiance (after their act possibly) to this distant entity which projects power against whatever grievances they might have. Their acts then are appropriated by ISIS if they are bloody /spectacular enough. They have created an informal network of terror which is extremely difficult to shut down and does not depend on prior communication and planning with ISIS, which at this point is for most of them is merely a name for the bloody reaction (and, to their eyes, *efficient* reaction) against a broad spectrum of indigenous causes of rage by marginalized muslim populations in the west (or marginalized sunni populations in the East, or anywhere). In a sense this is strategically brilliant, the most effective fascist terror campaign ever
posted by talos at 5:43 AM on July 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


ditto Osama bin Laden. wealthy, educated, and Saudi. that seems to be a general profile also.

we can come up with a profile but it's not the profile that's going to be one politicians and xenophobes want.
posted by sio42 at 5:47 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


From the Guardian's liveblog:
The dead suspect came from the Tunisian town of Msaken and was not known to hold radical Islamist views, Tunisian security sources, have told Reuters.

The man, identified by French police sources as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was not known by the Tunisian authorities.

Bouhlel was married with three children, they said. The sources did not say when he had last been resident in Tunisia, but said he last visited Msaken four years ago.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:19 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Take away his Muslim background, and it could be like the wave of mass shootings by disgruntled postal workers in the 90s, or high-school shootings by adolescent loners in the 00s.

Looks like he's closer to the latter than the former:
[He was] a 31-year-old delivery driver described as a "weird loner" who "became depressed" when his wife left him, was reported to be a French passport holder who lived in the Riviera city and was regularly in trouble with the law.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:22 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


We already know that terrorist organizations monitor social media. I worry that if we're only going to react this strongly to terrorist attacks in France and not all the other nations that have been hit with terrorist attacks over the past several months, that we're just painting a giant bullseye on that nation.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:28 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


On the 'general profile' thing, I was referring to the recent attacks in Belgium and France, but you're right. I should have been more careful with my language. There just does seem to be something going on with young immigrant men who have been involved in relatively low level 'normal' crime.
posted by knapah at 6:29 AM on July 15, 2016


It's almost like being a country that openly hates a particular group of people you will occasionally drive members of that group to lash out in extreme, violent ways.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:29 AM on July 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


his wife left him,

oh, it's this story...
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:30 AM on July 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


This in particular points to a lone nutjob. While it doesn't take away any of the horror, it should take away some of the fear. I guess. I don't know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:37 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's another subtle shift via translation: Marine Le Pen has just called for declaring a war on the scourge of "fondamentalisme islamiste" - in the Guardian this is rendered as "Islamic fundamentalism". While that's not directly incorrect, as it's more a technical term, the alternative "Islamist fundamentalism" is certainly available (NYT), and would be a better, disambiguating choice.

It may seem this is splitting hairs, but sadly any ambiguity in the media on these issues ends up providing useful tools to the most opportunistic hands.
posted by progosk at 6:41 AM on July 15, 2016


I saw the news last night while I was feeding my baby before bed. I called my husband over to tell him, horrified, and then managed to stop myself just before my toddler daughter ran into the room, hair wet from her bath, chatting happily about her new tug boat. She repeats what she hears now. She understands being hurt, she understands hospitals, she understands ambulances, she understands being scared.

I brought two children into the world and every day I'm more certain that they'll grow up just in time for WWIII. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
posted by lydhre at 6:44 AM on July 15, 2016 [23 favorites]


I was thinking about this last night while I was trying to sleep.

It seems to me like one frame for understanding these crimes is to group them not by political ideology but alongside very typical domestic murders - you don't generally see women committing either kind of crime, and both seem to be rationalized by "the world isn't giving me what I want, and I am entitled to kill a bunch of people whose wellbeing infuriates me in order to act out my anger at this fact". It seems like male rage and entitlement are big pieces.

I am also thinking, poor Muslims. I am going to make that "no islamophobia" patch for my bag today since I'm off work, or at least figure out what materials I need - maybe I need some fabric paint. (Not that a patch is such a big help, but at least it's some way to indicate that resistance to this bigotry exists.)

To be Muslim in France right now must be so scary.

Also this state of emergency bullshit. I really miss the days when it seemed like everyone was talking about Carl Schmitt and and Agamben and it seemed just like another one of those left theory things where you describe something mild in extravagant terms to draw attention to it.

The biggest lesson since 9/11 has been that when smart people say things will get worse, they sure will - there were lots of people I didn't listen to at the time.
posted by Frowner at 6:46 AM on July 15, 2016 [28 favorites]


lydhre, your kids are also growing up with art like Hamilton and hopefully the United States' first woman president. I am jealous of that for them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:46 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


One aspect of both "lone malcontents" and organized terrorists that I rarely see reported is the importance of "aggrieved masculinity." Sometimes the grievances are personal, like a failed relationship or a back work situation, sometimes they are systemic, like racism or police violence, sometimes they are imaginary, but in almost all of these cases, there's at least one man who is mad as hell about some situation and determined that others pay the cost of soothing that grievance. Is this hard wired I tour brains, or do we as societies just do a really bad job of addressing and directing male grievance?
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:50 AM on July 15, 2016 [41 favorites]


.
posted by gudrun at 7:11 AM on July 15, 2016


To be honest, when I first heard the news I thought of Elliott Rodger rather than any terrorist organisation.

But aggrieved manhood does not sell papers or weapons.
posted by kariebookish at 7:22 AM on July 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


I am so far away but I feel so broken by this.

France, je t'adore.
posted by malocchio at 7:34 AM on July 15, 2016


Is this hard wired I tour brains, or do we as societies just do a really bad job of addressing and directing male grievance?

I think that when men are only really permitted the expression of a very narrow range of emotional-social postures, e.g. dominance, aggression, and loyalty, that is going to constrain the range of actions that make "sense" to an aggrieved such person. (Corollary, I think that if women were allowed to vent anger more freely, we might see more violence from us.) Plus, high levels of ambient testosterone, for the typical troublemakers. But 31 is a bit old to be much driven by that.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:34 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


It is appalling how effective this kind of terrorism is in polarizing the debate. Personally I don't see how any coherent political platform can avoid focusing on the role of Islam after last night and frankly I am finding it increasingly difficult to engage with arguments that attempt to do so. But this is precisely the wedge that separates us. We must — somehow — remain unified if we're to formulate a response that offers any kind of perspective.
posted by dmh at 7:58 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


i don't know how anyone can be rushing to what this must mean before pretty much any of the facts besides name of attacker and death toll are known. and people who then extrapolate that to all of islam? well...yeah, a wedge, as you say.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 AM on July 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


> It seems that the MO of ISIS terror campaigns across the world is a distributed network of volunteers. Through which lone nutjobs (or teams of nutjobs) are inspired and plead allegiance (after their act possibly) to this distant entity which projects power against whatever grievances they might have. Their acts then are appropriated by ISIS if they are bloody /spectacular enough.

> One aspect of both "lone malcontents" and organized terrorists that I rarely see reported is the importance of "aggrieved masculinity." Sometimes the grievances are personal, like a failed relationship or a back work situation, sometimes they are systemic, like racism or police violence, sometimes they are imaginary, but in almost all of these cases, there's at least one man who is mad as hell about some situation and determined that others pay the cost of soothing that grievance.

Essentially, an attempt to weaponize running amok. But whether or not this person was trying to pledge allegiance or impress anybody, the cure for this is to create a healthy and sensible society, which very much involves droplets of water rather than gallons of fuel.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 8:08 AM on July 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Why the Islamic State hates France
posted by gwint at 8:15 AM on July 15, 2016


The incident I was in (which I mentioned up thread) was interesting in that, since, I think, the attacker wasn't involved with an organized terror group, the Federal government declined to prosecute him, and the whole thing was handled as a State criminal violation. Perhaps it would have been different had he killed anyone, even though that's not really logical. (What happened was, he had to lose speed to descend some steps with his vehicle, and then he accelerated and struck multiple victims. That's probably what saved them.)

I recall at the time some bloggers were trying to make a big deal out of this (his self-claimed motivation was explicitly to avenge Muslims killed by the US in the GWOT) but it never went anywhere as an issue. Supposedly he had tried to join Al-Quaeda but they thought he wasn't jihadi material.
posted by thelonius at 8:18 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]




i don't understand how people can still think IS represents islam in any way

ISIS represents Islam in exactly the same way KKK represents Christianity, or ... wait for it, exactly how Catholicism, Haredi Judaism, and Salafism represent the three major religions respectively. Regressive liberal hesitation to make any connections between these attacks and Salafi Islam propagated by ISIS in much the same way it is propagated by steadfast American ally Saudi Arabia is not helpful.
posted by shala at 8:56 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well shit, my Parisian playmate has friends in Nice and the last email I got from him, he was about to call and see if they were all okay. Please...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


The truck driver...
The married father of three was reported to have had a long criminal record and little apparent interest in religion. Echoing the remarks of French officials, security sources in Tunisia said he was not known by the Tunisian authorities to hold radical or Islamist views.
---
That was Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a man known to the authorities for domestic violence, theft and violent assault with a weapon who, it seems, had last been convicted in March.
---
“He was quite handsome, greyish hair, looked a bit like George Clooney."
---
"He spent a lot of his time at a bar down the street where he gambled and drank.”
Grauniad
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:11 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thelonius, I remember that attack. I graduated from UNC a few years prior but was still living in town and walked through that area many times a week. It was pretty terrifying.

On the latest Nice attack, it's very hard to not generalize and feel anger at others beyond just the attacker. For me as an atheist, I feel like as soon as people say "god has chosen my people" or "here is a list of things god wants people to do, and people who don't do them are other" they are stirring up trouble. But that's like, most of the world, which is one reason I feel pretty alienated sometimes. From my perspective all the discussions about whether person X is espousing the "true" nature of a faith are just derails. Being inquisitive and kind and minding your own damn business are way more important than getting into heaven, or proving your loyalty to some cause or religion or some baloney like that. Any worldview that contradicts that is in my view, clearly bogus and a thorn in the side of humanity whether extreme, moderate or in between. Having said that, I don't feel the absence of religion and religious causes would solve everything. Religion is just an incredibly powerful motivator and outlet for more basic human instincts, and the use of ceremony, repetition and so forth increases its power. In this case this guy felt a strong sense of entitlement to push his worldview on others and collectively punish a bunch of random people for some perceived slight or feeling of marginalization. Presumably he latched on to Isis/religious extremism as a justifying cause.

He lumped these victims into an enemy group when they were individuals with different hopes, dreams, and worldviews, and executed them. Which is fundamentally different than the west declaring war on Isis. Once people form a group with stated goals that are antithetical to civilization and start violent attacks, everyone in that group (ISIS) bears collective responsibility from the suicide bomber to the typesetter for Inspire. They've raised a flag and asked to get treated as a group rather than individuals. The Nice victims didn't. Apples/oranges.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:12 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


jfc

.

NYT today: 84 dead, 202 injured
posted by numaner at 9:23 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


It isn't clear that this attack had anything to do with Islam or terrorism. It may be the typical case of an abusive male being dissed by his spouse and going on a suicidal rampage.
posted by JackFlash at 9:25 AM on July 15, 2016 [30 favorites]


I'm on a bus and weeping on my commute to work because there are good people and happy endings even in the midst of terrible tragedy and pain.

An eight-month-old baby boy lost in the chaos after a truck rammed into a crowd in the French Riviera city of Nice has been tracked down through Facebook. The boy, who was in a blue stroller, was lost when the rampaging truck killed at least 84 people and sent hundreds of people who had been watching Bastille Day fireworks fleeing in panic. Tiava Banner – who said she was not the mother of the baby – sent out an appeal on Facebook looking for any information on his whereabouts. The post was shared thousands of times until it was updated with: “Found! Thank you Facebook and all those who helped us.” A member of the family contacted on Friday said: “A young woman found him and took him home with her. She then went online and found the photo of the baby on Facebook.” The woman then contacted the baby’s parents.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:25 AM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Almost all those involved in violence in France in recent years have had similar profiles – aged between 18 and 36, often with a record of involvement in petty crime, known to police if not security services, often served jail sentences, from backgrounds which if not poverty-stricken were far from wealthy, and with insecure, temporary or poorly paid jobs.

From the Guardian, on the "profile" of recent attackers.

Catholicism, Haredi Judaism, and Salafism represent the three major religions respectively.

These are not equivalent...
posted by knapah at 9:26 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]




Domestic Violence is the Red Flag We Aren't Talking About

(yes it's about orlando, but once again i think this part will be ignored or 'yeah, but'd away)
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on July 15, 2016 [39 favorites]


Look, I am agnostic and as secular as the next person, but laying this at the feel of religion is stupid. Most religions have just as much — if not more — to say about caring for the least of us and about generosity as about in-group insularity and war. Maybe this is just because I went to a religious leftist high school, but I have seen an insistence on kindness and care from nuns that rivals the lack of narrative for these values in a lot of secular culture.

BUT IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER. Normally, I am not interested in arguing about religion with people; normally I am ambivalent about its virtues and flaws and whatever. But today this matters.

The problem is a craving for power and exclusionary overreaction. I know it feels good to blame people, to locate the sickness in some foreign attribute that will never be yours, so you can feel righteous and safe. This backfires, as anyone who has spent 10s reading history can tell you. Violence and xenophobia beget violence and xenophobia. If you want people to be safe, you have to fight hate. You can do it in big ways and march; you can do it in little ways as you go about your day. You can fight as much as you fit in around the daily grind of living. You can do nothing more than wake up everyday and remind yourself that all most people want is to live their lives and come home to the people they love and who love them. Fight hate. Fight the glorification of power. Encourage people you know to make choices from a place of abundance and remind them that it is true courage to do this when you personally don't feel that abundance. And then turn around and fight for abundance for everyone.

I know it is scary and I know it is tempting to want to blame and clamp down and destroy. We have to be brave and remember that just hurts people who, like us, just want an uneventful life, sprinkled with some meaning and love.

(And all this is gross and sappy but dammit, it is true and is starting to feel like our only hope.)
posted by dame at 10:06 AM on July 15, 2016 [32 favorites]


threeants: There is no feasible amount of surveillance or security that can stop someone bent on it from driving a truck into a crowd. The only way to prevent people from being able to do this is to reduce the number of people who want to do this.

I was thinking about that exact sentiment when I came across this piece about just how extensive the use of video surveillance is in Nice, and how it all came to naught.

Sécurité : le paradoxe niçois

So, half-assedly translated, with my advance apologies to French MeFites (I'm sure I butchered a few details), it says roughly this:

Security: The Niçoise paradox

Christian Estrosi, the former mayor of the Riviera's capital and current president of the Regional Council, has built a city that's a showcase of security measures, equipped with state-of-the-art CCTV technology and the second largest police force in the country. Was it all for nothing?

To listen to Christian Estrosi, Nice should be the most secure city in France. However, it's where the driver of a truck plowed into a crowd on the city's main street, with nothing but a forest of cameras to stop him. No other city has put such an emphasis on its obsession with security, with the resources to back it up. All in vain, in this case.

During the Euro 2016 championship, the city's member of the National Assembly promised that "The fan zone would be the most secure in France," equipped with airport-style metal detectors. To this, elected officials wanted to add facial recognition technology. In mid-April, he held a media demonstration of the effectiveness of NeoFace Watch, the software that was to be the crowning achievement of the most advanced video surveillance system in France. Nice holds the record in that regard - it has one camera for every 283 residents, and even uses video to deal with parking infractions. In the National Assembly, the member for Alpes-Maritimes proposed legalizing the use of facial recognition. In vain. The government refused to allow this experiment, citing "infringement of liberties."

Believing in the effectiveness of CCTVs, Christian Estrosi has installed nearly 1,000 cameras in the city. As a strong advocate for municipal police and as the longtime head of the largest police force in France, with 355 officers (until Marseille took its place, with 399), he wants to make Nice "the standard for security innovation." But when faced with a truck turned against people, is that really the answer?

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:08 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


An eight-month-old baby boy lost in the chaos after a truck rammed into a crowd in the French Riviera city of Nice has been tracked down through Facebook.

Oh, thank god. A co-worker is friends with the family and I've been not wanting to bug him about whether he's heard anything but desperately hoping his friends' child is ok. Thank you.
posted by lazuli at 10:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


The interactive map from the NYT in that article has done me in.

I worked in Sophia Antipolis, and lived in Nice Nord, a kilometer north of city center. There were two direct buses to Sophia: a line that started at the Prom and went north to take the autoroute in the hills (we had the most gorgeous view of the Alps), and a line that went along the Prom. There weren't a lot of Nice Nord lines in the evening, so often I'd take the Prom line home. I know every single building, every beach pavillion. Then, my last year in Nice, I had a project in Cagnes-sur-Mer, so I finally splurged on a road bike and rode it there, a nice 12km ride with a lovely stretch along the Prom.

He went through the heart of it. The most well-known, well-loved part. Fuck.
posted by fraula at 10:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Thelonius, I remember that attack. I graduated from UNC a few years prior but was still living in town and walked through that area many times a week. It was pretty terrifying.

It was quite horrible. I'll never forget the sound of all those young people screaming. I had a few seconds to get out of the path of the SUV, which is a lot of time when the real adreniline rush hits you. I jumped over a low wall by Lenoir dining hall, trying to get somewhere that a vehicle couldn't reach. It was over quickly but we were afraid he was coming back. I remember there was a woman near me with her child; she was clutching the boy with her whole body and pointing to him the people going to help the injured, saying over and over "Look, there are good people".

Bringing violence and hatred like that to a university, which to me is a quasi-sacred space of toleration and learning and inclusion, was an obscenity to me.
posted by thelonius at 10:39 AM on July 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


I don't have much to say. This is another terrible event that has been added to a growing pile of the same. I offer my condolences to those who were affected by this, and for those affected by similar past events, and for those that are likely to come.

I will say that in following these events - what seems like a bimonthly occurrence - I'm reminded of the idea of terrorism being the game spoiling strategy of the loser. It was written in the wake of another terrible tragedy, the Boston Marathon Bombings, but I think that this essay that links together Don Delillo's fictionalization of Lee Harvey Oswald with modern terrorist attacks has a lot of sad truth to it:
The idea isn’t to change history but to enact one’s dream life. The person who blows up the Boston marathon instantly becomes the equal of his act. What other mythic ambition can a loser instantly achieve, just by deciding to do it?
Daesh has built an empire out of losers, who can live out the fantasy of the avenging hero by killing the innocent. You can look to the anti-abortion terrorists here in America, who may become a hero in their own mind by shooting up a clinic. Or the alt-right losers, who can pretend to be heroic in their own racist and misogynistic fantasies by gunning down parishioners at a black church, or innocent women on the sidewalk.

In learning about this particular loser, that seems more true than ever. You have someone who was disappointed with their personal life, without (seemingly - details are still forthcoming) much religious or political conviction, who saw a chance to become take on the role of hero in their own idiotic fantasy, and took it. Daesh acts without acting, and comes away the victor without really lifting a finger directly.

To be honest, I'm not sure how you fix the problem of there being so many losers, nor how you fight the compelling, nihilistic power of fantasy.
posted by codacorolla at 10:40 AM on July 15, 2016 [27 favorites]




.
posted by PippinJack at 10:59 AM on July 15, 2016


🇫🇷 .
posted by XtinaS at 11:13 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't even click on your link gatorae. All day I've been coming across that picture of a gold thermal blanket draped body with a baby doll next to it and I just fucking lose it.
posted by romakimmy at 11:16 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


What other mythic ambition can a loser instantly achieve, just by deciding to do it?
I'm reminded of a quote from a Mefite years ago:
The best way to be great in the eyes of history is to seize the machinery of civilization and throw it into reverse. To do so implies that you are one of the few in the world who sees and understands the machinery. It further implies that you are one of the few among the few who has seized the machines lever of control. And finally, it means that you are the singular one of the fewest of the few with the courage--or insanity--to dare to pull that lever knowing full what what will happen.
I have no idea what this murderer could possibly have hoped to achieve... but I do believe that one of the most natural ways of seeking meaning in life is to measure your life's effect on others, and I do wonder whether there really is some twisted psychology that cares solely about the magnitude of that effect, not about whether it's positive or negative. If both "evil" and "good" are just subsets of "important", then it's hard not to notice that the former is much easier than the latter.
posted by roystgnr at 11:39 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


Thinking about it a little more closely, I wouldn't limit the "aggrieved masculinity" effect I describe above to perpetrators of massacres and mass shootings. I think too many of our "leaders" (elected or self-appointed) wallow in a more distant sort of this with their talk of "getting tough on crime" or invading countries. In an effort to sooth their own outraged masculinity, they put more and more people in harm's way, reinforcing the cycle of violence and oppression that is breeding the seemingly-endless stream of bloodshed we are seeing this year.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:05 PM on July 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Exactly. It is yet another consequence of toxic masculinity.

I'm sick of it in all of its forms.

And it isn't entirely separate from "traditional" terrorism either. What the radicals (of many stripes) are fighting against is threats to the patriarchy.

I'm done with it all.
posted by yesster at 12:12 PM on July 15, 2016 [15 favorites]


Daesh has built an empire out of losers.

A not insubstantial part of the problem is a society that revels in branding people "losers", and in encouraging them to hate themselves for their financial failure, neuroatypicalness, etc.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:29 PM on July 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


Another week. Another tragedy. Another outpouring of grief and anger on social media. Another round of deaths swiftly weaponized and deployed by political and cultural opponents who come out of their corners swinging.

The ability of a single person to do this kind of damage to individual victims and entire national and world orders is nothing new. Consider 1914. As MeFites, I'm sure you know this, but to review: Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian who wanted to get the southern Slavic areas out of Austria-Hungary and into a new Yugoslavia, shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie. This triggered war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, which in turn triggered World War I, the Great War. Seventeen million were killed.

Gavrilo Princip was like many contemporary mass murderers and terrorists in many ways. He grew up in poverty and his family experienced oppression. He had a political cause that he wanted to advance. But his relationship to others in that cause was complicated. Despite his rage, passion, and the pleasure that he clearly got out of threatening others, he was deemed too small and too weak to be a major player in the "Black Hand" group, which sought Yugoslavian unification through violence. The challenge this posed to his sense of masculinity played a major role in Princip's determination to prove himself through politicized murder. He might be a small man whom society disdained, but with a gun, he could become a big player in world affairs.

This all sounds so very familiar. Today's political mass murderers are usually men who are socially marginal, psychologically troubled, seething with rage, fragile in their masculinity, and motivated by a desire for attention and celebrity.

What is different is who these political murderers we now call terrorists kill in order to get the attention they crave, for themselves and for their cause. In the centuries before mass media, the only deaths which would be heard of and cared about far and wide were the deaths of royalty, or major figures in religious hierarchy. So assassinations of highly privileged people were the rule. Today, in the era of the internet, enraged insecure men with a cause can get just as much attention much more easily by killing a collection of ordinary citizens.

I also believe that in this age of celebrity, the number of people motivated to commit atrocities has risen in sync with the lure of becoming a "star" in the form of notorious villain. In Princip's day, few assassins ever achieved his level of notoriety. Today, the names of mass murdering terrorists spread around the globe and onto the lips of millions in seconds.

As others have noted, it would be wise of us, if we wanted to deter more mass murders, to stop speaking the names of those who commit them, and give them no attention. But we seem utterly unable to do this. People feel compelled to know all about these celebrities of evil. Individually, people want to take random acts of violence and put them into a narrative that makes the acts more comprehensible. More importantly, I think, is that politics today is waged through news cycles. Every party and camp feels it must package and spin whatever story has the public eye that day, whether it be a spell of hot weather or an atrocity. Each feels it must do so defensively, anticipating how the event will be used as a weapon by the "other side."

If we don't find a way out of this style of waging politics, we are going to see mass murder after mass murder. And all the counterterrorist efforts in the world, all the reduction of civil liberties and surveillance of marginal social groups we can foolishly muster, will have very little influence. Because acts of repression only generate more bitterness and rage. And because any anonymous person who feels belittled, embittered and enraged can drive a truck through a crowd of people and die in infamous fame.

The real solution would require us to bring people who feel marginalized into the fold. We'd need to stop "othering," love our neighbors as ourselves, extend a helping hand in the form of mental health support, and change the very way we understand masculine honor. Individually, we'd have to accept never knowing all the details of a story that grips us. That's a lot. In the meantime, we could call on one another to stop talking about the motives and life stories and social media histories of mass murderers. This itself would require a huge effort, as no one wants to lay down a political weapon when their enemies are happy to wield it against them--myself included.

Seriously, mea culpa. When somebody is talking about the videos the Orlando Pulse perpetrator viewed, and how they prove Islam is to blame for his actions, or when someone is talking about the Dallas perpetrator's membership in Facebook black empowerment groups, and how they show BLM is to blame for his actions, I find it hard to argue back only in general terms, never referencing other facts I've learned about the perpetrator's biographies. Which means I too am driving up the click counts on the masses of online news stories focusing on the biographies of perpetrators, and feeding the celebrity villain industry that makes more mass murders likely. It's hard not to do this, especially as an academic whose entire worldview is shaped around the idea of reading everything, examining all the angles, armchair psychoanalyzing, etc.

But if we care about ordinary victims more than want to make polarized societies even more so, that's what we need to do. Stop participating in the industry that thrives off of infamous fame. Accept the idea that to use a terrorist attack to advance our cause makes us complicit--not just if we approve of the attack, but if we are trumpeting the attack to use horror generated against it to further our aims. And work to make arguments that some political goal is justified by a terrorist attack unacceptable, not matter how worthy that political goal seems to be.

I am sorry to say that I can't see this happening anytime soon.
posted by DrMew at 12:57 PM on July 15, 2016 [36 favorites]


.

I hope no one decides to replicate this at the Olympics.
posted by antiquated at 1:06 PM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Reports on Twitter that both Bosphorus bridges have been closed by the military in Instanbul and there are fighter jets flying over Ankara. Either a massive security alert or an attempted coup against Erdogan
posted by IanMorr at 1:07 PM on July 15, 2016


Reuters now reporting it's a coup attempt
posted by IanMorr at 1:11 PM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


way back, I'm glad some people made comments about taking a break from newsmedia. It's making me increasingly paranoid and depressed. I know there have always been mass murders but it seems like they have ratcheted up in the last two years or so. I don't know if they feed off of each other's crimes, if the copy cat effect is working or what but it just makes me want to curl up in a ball and go into denial. That seems childish and irresponsible but taking a break...yeah, I just can't look too closely anymore.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 1:11 PM on July 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose

.
posted by ridgerunner at 2:00 PM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Very very well said, Dr.Mew.
posted by progosk at 2:01 PM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]




It's easy for them to say that, and it doesn't really mean much.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:06 AM on July 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Islamic State Group says Tunisian man who drove truck into Nice crowds was a "soldier" of the group.

@saladinahmed: ALSO WE UM TOTALLY MADE YOU STUB YOUR TOE AND UM WHEN YOU LOST YOUR KEYS THAT WAS US COWER IN FEAR CRUSADER NATIONS
posted by zombieflanders at 6:17 AM on July 16, 2016 [21 favorites]


.
posted by limeonaire at 7:24 AM on July 16, 2016


To be honest, I'm not sure how you fix the problem of there being so many losers, nor how you fight the compelling, nihilistic power of fantasy.

More immersive video games, maybe? I'm serious. I know a ton of men who have all the baseline characteristics necessary to engender the disaffected male rage that fuels these attacks but seem content enough by being hot shit in WoW.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:43 AM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Despite the post-hoc Daesh claim, this mass-murder is looking more and more an act fueled by personal alienation and mental instability.

Has anyone seen comparisons of the Nice attack to the Germanwings incident, at all? Or to the Utoya massacre? Conversely, were those incidents ever presented as "typically jihadist"? Government and media's convenience with a go-to simplifier is just deeply irresponsible.
posted by progosk at 10:34 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nice is pretty well-known as a Front National stronghold. Marion Maréchal Le Pen ran for office in the region earlier this year and made it to the second round, where she lost to Estrosi, who has FN policies but rubs the backs of local business enough that few dare to call him on it. In other words. The reason it's not being painted for what it is (a disaffected man pulling a Breivik) is that playing on racial fears and terrorism is exactly up the regional politicians' alley. They're all about nationalism and showing proper respect to French traditions, whatever that means for an area that has its own language and was strong-armed into joining France only 150-odd years ago.

I love this place for its nature, architecture and food, but fuck if it isn't one of the most profoundly racist and xenophobic places I've ever experienced (thus my move to Paris). I'm here for the weekend in Nice and just hope I'll get through it; the mix of grief and "WTF OMG" at racism could get overwhelming.
posted by fraula at 1:23 PM on July 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's probably a function of the media that I consume, but I think that Breivik was portrayed as being deeply tied to global white-supremacist and far-right internet networks, even if he wasn't necessarily part of any organized group. I think he's actually pretty analogous. It's just that the political repercussions aren't the same, because no Western country is going to declare war on white people just because some disaffected white loser decides he's going to commit mass murder in the name of the white race.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:52 PM on July 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


[One deleted. No biggie and it's great you're having a good trip, Empress Callipygos, but this thread isn't the place for continued updates like that.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:31 PM on July 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've been heartened by Nice. There's long been a divide here between people who know and love the place, from all backgrounds and coming together quietly with a live-and-let-live attitude, and the political-corporate class that views the Riviera as a beast to be milked for all it's worth. I am both surprised and relieved that it is the quiet tolerance holding forth here. Media and politicians can say what they want (there are no fewer than 30 satellite trucks on Place Masséna, ugh), but I have crossed only heartbreak and compassion. No hatred. This is a first. The exchanges I've had have heartened me beyond expectation; I hope it continues...
posted by fraula at 5:44 AM on July 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Always look for the helpers": Alexandre Migues rode his bike in pursuit and tried to open the truck's door, until the driver threatened him with his gun.
Then a person on a scooter attempted again, but got squeezed against the curb by the truck and ended up falling under its wheels - it's unconfirmed whether the scooter driver is OK, but his effort seems to have helped delay the truck, so that there were no victims in a 150m stretch of the Promenade.
Finally, just before police officers started firing, a third person attempted to open the stopped truck's door, to try to interfere with the driver.
posted by progosk at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


I remarked to a friend that there had been many vehicular murders and attempted murders in Israel over the past couple of years, but none of them had resulted in anything like this number of casualties. One reason, sadly, is that Israelis have internalised the need to assess risks and avoid potential target areas. But there are other reasons too, which this article goes into.

To France From Israel: Lessons on Living With Terror
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:45 PM on July 19, 2016


The World is Stuck in an Endless Death Spiral
It happened less than a week ago, but the truck massacre in Nice is already fading into the background: so much stuff keeps on happening – wars and coups and the sheer constant idiocy of the elections on both sides of the Atlantic – that no horror can remain horrifying for long. Almost without anyone noticing, it's gone from being a vicious tear in the fabric of life into just another miserable part of that fabric.

We live in a world where 84 people can die while watching the fireworks on Bastille Day; that's just how it is now. The French government's response melds seamlessly into that awful, omnipresent how-it-is-now-ness. Hours after the attack, President Hollande announced that France would be stepping up its military interventions in Iraq and Syria. These things have a logic all of their own – it makes perfect sense, of course it does; it's what's done. The fact that doing this isn't just fundamentally wrong, but that it won't even help, is basically immaterial. Could blowing things up in the Middle East ever possibly stop the next French Tunisian from driving a truck at full speed into a crowded street? Could it ever achieve anything except ensuring that, sooner or later, this will happen again? So why do it?

The real reason is simple: because the worst possible thing always happens, and what we still sometimes refer to as life is just a nauseating and senseless spiral into extinction. The stated reason is because this was an Isis attack, and we're at war with Isis. Never mind that the killer, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, had no known connections to the group, made no declaration of allegiance, had never visited Iraq or Syria, never regularly went to mosque and had no apparent interest in the actual tenets or practice of Islam. Or the fact that the real common factor in so many of these atrocities – the killings in Orlando, or in Utøya, or so many others all around the world – is that the perpetrators are men who are angry at women, who are violent towards their partners, or who feel entitled to fuck whoever they want and become furious when their desires are occasionally frustrated. Or that one-third of the people he murdered were themselves Muslims. It doesn't matter; our story has been set. This was an Isis attack, and we're at war with Isis.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:40 AM on July 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Latest - French prosecutor: Nice attacker had accomplices
The Paris prosecutor says the driver who killed 84 people on a Nice beachfront had accomplices and he had been plotting his attack for months.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said his office, which oversees terrorism investigations, said five suspects currently in custody are facing preliminary terrorism charges for their alleged roles in helping driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, in a judicial inquiry opened Thursday.
posted by rosswald at 9:41 AM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


More info from France 24
In one chilling turn of events, Molins said that one of the suspects, a Tunisian named Mohamed Oualid G., had filmed the scene of the crime the day after the carnage, as it crawled with paramedics and journalists.

The five suspects will be presented to anti-terrorism judges later Thursday and Molins said prosecutors had requested they be charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, among other crimes.

None of the suspects was known to intelligence services. Only one of them, a 22-year-old Franco-Tunisian, Ramzi A, who was born in Nice, had a criminal record for robbery and drug offences
posted by rosswald at 2:50 PM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


The story is very new, but there is a pretty serious mass-shooting in Germany:

Munich shooting: Several killed in shopping centre - Several people have been shot dead in a shooting at a shopping centre in the German city of Munich, police say.

Seems likely it is a second terrorist attack in Germany this week.
posted by rosswald at 11:12 AM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


FWIW, today is the 5th anniversary of the massacre carried out by neo-Nazi Anders Brevik. And now reports that witnesses are saying at least one of the gunmen was shouting anti-immigrant slogans, and in one of the videos the gunman is apparently using anti-Turkish epithets.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:43 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Munich shooting: Teenage killer Ali Sonboly 'inspired by far-right terrorist Anders Breivik' and 'used Facebook offer of free McDonald's food to lure victims'

Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik

So he was an far-right admirer of a neo-Nazi, obsessed with violence, and according to one of the reports from the Telegraph's liveblog, it sounds like he was a gamergater (or at least acted like one). Also, the people who were shouting racial and Islamophobic slurs at him should be ashamed of themselves, especially since he actually seemed to be targeting the exact kinds of people they were accusing him of being.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:31 AM on July 23, 2016 [2 favorites]






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