Sunday, 15 November 2015
VIVE LA FRANCE, YOU DID NOT DESERVE THAT
When I woke up yesterday morning, I watched Sky News in horror as the terrible events in Paris unfolded. As a manic depressive I sometimes avoid too much reality as it can easily tip me over the edge. Sadly, it was impossible to look away, and it was impossible to shut off the fear and terror I felt for those innocent people who's lives were being blown apart by such incomprehensible evil.
Why, why, why? The people ISIS targeted were mostly young, multicultural, liberal free thinkers, people who may even have been persuaded to their cause, or who would have at least listened to them. The people killed and injured were out having fun. Was it the 'fun' aspect that troubled them the most?
I don't pretend to understand the troubles in the Middle East, does anyone? But I do know that for too long the lives of those in the Middle East have mean't very little to the people of the 'West'. Two days before Paris, a bomb went off in Beirut killing 43, almost as if it were a rehearsal for the atrocity that was to come. The Beirut bombs didn't grab everyone's attention. The Paris ones did.
For most of us, we don't really care what happens in a far away land, neither we, nor our ancestors divided those lands and riches up for ourselves, and besides, we've got enough troubles of our own. The attacks on Paris have brought the terrorism of the Middle East directly into our living rooms. It could have been any of us, or any of those we love. We have to take notice, ignoring it is no longer an option.
Fortunately, most of us are not faced with the terrible decisions that the world leaders now face. How to bring it to an end. They are dealing with psychopaths and sociopaths who are using naïve young 'westerners' (one was only 15 ffs) to blow up everything they hate. You can bet your life that the suicide vests are not made to fit the aged evil bloated fat cats who instigate these attacks for their own grubby ends.
For the 'rational' world leaders, how the hell do you choose one murderous fanatic over another in order to maintain world peace? Do they even listen to the rebel factions? Are there no peacemakers among them? Can the West really step in without being accused of seeking the spoils of war for themselves? And why should it be the decision of the West? Ultimately Syria must rule itself with the best interests of the majority at heart.
I share Paris's grief, anger and need for retribution. This can never happen again, these evil people must be stopped. However, it is heart breaking that the people who will suffer the most, will be those fleeing the terror. Already, the media have picked up on one terrorist being a refugee who arrived in a boat. Conveniently ignoring the fact that most of these suicide bombers are nationals of the countries they are blowing up. They are disaffected youths who have been lured into war games because they need something to believe in, even if it is batshit crazy.
Sadly, it will also too increase the simmering racism that lurks in every society and it will give fodder to the far right extremists who need little excuse to attack their neighbours. I hope people bear in mind that we are in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, one that has the potential to reach the scale of a holocaust. We need to remember that the people arriving on our shores are people just like us. Mums and dads who love their kids and grannies just as much as we love ours.
The extremists who shattered the lives of the people of Paris are the same extremists these desperate people are fleeing. They don't want the kind of 'rule' Assad or ISIS (ISIL) are offering, they want a rational world where they will be valued as human beings. It is not the number of terrorists who are coming into the West as refugees, so much as the number of their own disaffected youth who are flying out to the Middle East to train as terrorists and suicide bombers.
The world leaders, Francois Hollande especially have my deepest sympathy at the moment, and if I were religious, they would have my prayers too. Heck, they have them anyway, so too the people of Paris affected by this terrible atrocity. Vive la France, and Viva the French people, they did not deserve that, no-one does.