Well, I’m glad I didn’t go on that march through Paris yesterday.
On Friday, French President Francois Hollande said in a public address:
“These fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion”.
Which is a flat-out lie, and Hollande knows it. These fanatics have everything to do with Islam. Now it may be fair to say they are not representative of ordinary Muslims, and I would agree. If may also be fair to say that these fanatics are operating on the extremes of Islam, and I would also agree. But to say it is nothing to do with Islam? Nothing? Utter bullshit.
The problem is, this bullshit has been swallowed not only on a national scale, but a global scale. The response – pretend to give a shit, but downplay the Islam angle – was utterly predictable, because we have heard the same bullshit time after time. This is why I pretty much stifled a yawn last Wednesday, even whilst the attackers were still fleeing through the city. I knew it would change nothing.
Of course, Hollande needs to choose his words carefully. France is home to several million Muslims who are not murdering fanatics, and loose words from a president could easily pose a danger to innocent people. But nobody is calling for retribution against Muslims. Nobody is asking for mass deportations. Nobody wants Hollande to introduce illiberal restrictions on Muslims. It would be grossly irresponsible and unjust for Hollande, or anyone else, to come out and say Muslims are collectively to blame or that these attacks are the natural result of practicing Muslims.
But saying this is nothing to do with Islam is also grossly irresponsible: there is a real and present danger posed to citizens everywhere by an unknown number of well-organised, well-connected, and well-armed fanatical Muslims who genuinely believe they are acting in accordance with Islamic teachings. Regardless of whether their intepretations are theologically correct or in accordance with other Muslims, this is what drives them to kill. Unless and until Western leaders acknowledge this, it will happen again and again and again.
What we’re seeing here is politics, politics in the absence of leadership. Hell, it isn’t even governance. Modern day politicians operate under no principles whatsoever, save for that which makes their own lives easier (meaning, it makes their election or re-election more likely). There was a time when politicians would make unpopular decisions because it was the right thing to do. Nowadays these charlatans posing as world leaders do whatever they think might make them popular, and haven’t the faintest idea what is right or wrong. It’s all about them, and nobody else.
As I said before the march, this wasn’t a demonstration by a million people that enough was enough and something had better be done, or else. No, this was called because Hollande saw the event as a way to nail French unity in the face of a national tragedy to his re-election campaign. And people took part in it not to demand change, but to be assured that nothing would change. People marched in support of free speech, did they? Then what did they propose is done differently to protect it? Nothing. They just marched to say “Yes, we stand for free speech – just don’t expect us to do anything to protect it from another attack.”
Supposing a French politician proposed re-integrating the disaffected Muslim population in the banlieues by tearing up the stupid, outdated employment legislation which ensures they remain jobless for life. You’d see those same people who marched yesterday out in twice the numbers to protest. Or if the authorities proposed closer surveillance of Muslims in French prisons and those recently released on terrorism-related charges. The human rights lawyers would descend like vultures, and half the people marching yesterday would be screaming “racism”. Hell, they couldn’t even bear the prospect of somebody saying something different, so they stopped the National Front from joining in.
Now I don’t know what the answer is, or what the government should do. I’m an engineer, not an expert in terrorism or the leader of a country. But I know sticking our collective heads in the sand is not the answer. Maybe once, in case such atrocities are an aberration. But now, after almost 15 years of repeated attacks by Islamic headcases across four continents, a response of some sort is seriously needed. But yesterday’s march wasn’t to demand a response, it was to demand there isn’t one. Where the hell is the leadership? All they’ve done is kick the can down the road another two years.
But we’re living in an era of non-action, easy decisions, and can-kicking. Life has gotten too comfortable for most people, and few are prepared to take the necessary hardship to ensure our way of life continues. Look at the western economies, FFS. Two of today’s generations are utterly fucking over the next two or three, and congratulating themselves in the process. How many of those marching yesterday are so scared of change that they won’t even consider a 10% chance they might have to get another job at some point in their lives in order to save their own country from bankrupcy? The modern-day “manager” is no better: facing crippling mortgage repayments due in no small part to his own idiotic voting record, he cowers in fear of even a bad word being passed down by his superiors despite ironclad employment protection, and any decision he makes is either utterly spineless, solely in his own interests, or both.
Bush Jr. was a damned clown, but at least he went and kicked the shit out of the Taliban after 9/11. Whether this was sensible or not is largely beside the point, something needs to be done when 3,000 of your citizens have been spectacularly murdered and mere words just don’t cut it. “The pen is mightier than the sword” was the message of many cartoonists following the massacre last Wednesday. Not if you’re shit scared of wielding that pen it isn’t, and especially not if some crazy cunt is running at you with a big fucking sword.
I am of the opinion we need leadership and action based on sound principles of liberty and justice, not more of the same lame speeches and empty soundbites. It seems a million people marching yesterday disagreed with me.
Probably just as well I didn’t go, then. See you for the next massacre.