|A person pays respects by lighting a candle outside of Petit Cambodge restaurant on Nov. 14, 2015. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images, fair use claimed for this non-commercial use.|
Bonjour à toutes et à tous
That's French for my usual blog intro, "Greeings All." It has been a few days since we were all rocked with the horrific news out of Paris that a band of murderous cowards took the lives of 129 innocent people. There are hundreds more gravely wounded, some, I fear, fatally. I am certain this death toll with rise.
I had to be in Chicago early Saturday morning, so I spent several hours in my car Friday night. I listened to the stories of this horror, I thought about what we went thru fourteen years ago.
It's now come to light that ISIS, The terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for this horrific act. The facts, initial as they are, seem to give credence to their claim.
I want to give ISIS the bare minimum of attention on this post. They are cowards and child rapists and sadists. It is enough to say they need to be stopped. And yes, "stopped" is a euphemism for a permanent stopping.
Roger Cohen of The New York Times summed up the situation succinctly this way: "The only adequate measure, after the killing of at least 129 people in Paris, is military, and the only objective commensurate with the ongoing threat is the crushing of ISIS and the elimination of its stronghold in Syria and Iraq." I have cited to his column below and encourage everyone to read it.
However, if you can only read one thing about ISIS, read The Atlantic's piece, "What ISIS Really Wants." Here's just one bit about the demons were dealing with. One of ISIS' "cheerleaders" (his name is in the article, he does not warrant the typing of the letters) had this to say about the tactics of ISIS that would cause the Waffen SS to blush:
"...the state (ISIS) has an obligation to terrorize its enemies—a holy order to scare the shit out of them with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict."
Yup, that's who we're dealing with here.
I'll decline to get into my preference on how to deal with ISIS. Yet for those of you who know me, you can probably guess how I would suggest we deal with ISIS. I'll give you a hint: The French bombing campaign of today is a good start,...a start.
Well, enough about ISIS, and enough about rage at them. Let's return to Paris, to the loss and the heartache. The title to this blog, translated to English, "Weeping for Paris." There will be time to respond to ISIS, our response. Yet for now, at this time, let us all (Caveat, those who are serving on the JSC, the NSC, the CIA, or Congress and/or staffer, please feel free to engage in your planning efforts for...dealing with ISIS) spend our time sincerely, genuinely grieving for Paris, for those Parisians, (even those just holding this status temporarily) and their families.
And with this call for sincere grief, I'll start with me. There is a part of me that wants to be a sincere practitioner of guilt, of sadness for this loss. Then there is the part of me that is spoiling for a fight. Of course, I'll never be the one squeezing a trigger.
I have been working on this post for the better part of a few hours. I have been endeavoring to come up with an ending that would tie this all together. Something poignant, moving even.
And I have nothing.
Why is that?
I wonder if it is because I simply am not capable of reaching that level of sincere grief for those who fell in Paris? I wonder if it is because I cannot get past the barbaric and cowardly acts of the perpetrators of these acts? I suppose at the end of the day, anger is easier to summon than grief.
Perhaps someday, I'll be able to do both. But for now, I offer you something I did find sincere and moving. It is from last night's Saturday Night Live. This sums up what I was searching for on this keyboard...and in my heart.
Être bien mes amis.
(Opening photo) http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2015/11/the_paris_attacks_have_nothing_to_do_with_refugees_this_operation_was_planned.html