Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Terrorist Attack in Paris: Statements
I, too, would like to extend my sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives in such terrible circumstances in Paris. There is no excuse for the horror that was inflicted on them.
I will quote Mr. Teju Cole, an American novelist who wrote about the incident. He wrote:
The killings in Paris were an appalling offence to human life and dignity. The enormity of these crimes will shock us all for a long time.
But the suggestion that violence by self-proclaimed Jihadists is the only threat to liberty in Western societies ignores other, often more immediate and intimate, dangers. The US, the UK, and France approach statecraft in different ways, but they are allies in a certain vision of the world, and one important thing they share is an expectation of proper respect for Western secular religion. Heresies against state power are monitored and punished. People have been arrested for making anti-military or anti-police comments on social media in the UK. Mass surveillance has had a chilling effect on journalism and on the practice of the law in the US. Meanwhile, the armed forces and intelligence agencies in these countries demand, and generally receive, unwavering support from their citizens. When they commit torture or war crimes, no matter how illegal or depraved, there is little expectation of a full accounting or of the prosecution of the parties responsible.There is talk of President Obama hosting a meeting to fight terror in the United States. However, this is the same President who killed seven people last week in a drone attack in Pakistan. He has also bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in his time in office. That, too, is terror. The Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Netanyahu, marched against terror with the French people in Paris last week, but he slaughtered 500 children in Gaza last summer. The attack in Paris is not the first threat there has been to free speech and democracy. The only person in prison for the CIA's abominable torture regime is the whistleblower, John Kiriakou. Edward Snowden is a hunted man after divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for her role in the WikiLeaks revelations. They, too, are blasphemers, but they have not been universally valourised, as have the cartoonists.
Nothing could ever excuse what happened in Paris, and we will never forget what was done. However, we must examine how the world operates today. We must take stock of the fact that the militarisation of many parts of the world is horrific. The torture being inflicted on people in different locations is horrific. We need to look to and address the source of the sickness we saw last week. As part of this, we must fight any efforts by large powers to militarise the world any more than it is already.