November 19, 2015 12:00am
PARISIANS endured their first curfews since the German Occupation. The death toll from the latest multiple attacks stands at 132, most slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th-century chinoi-serie on the Boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there was to see Julie Pietri.
I’m so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like, whether it’s the small Quebec town where my little girl’s favourite fondue restaurant is, or my favourite hotel in Amman, or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen … or a music hall where I liked to go to get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours.
But look at the photos of Paris, there’s nowhere to get away from it: the barbarians who yell “Allahu Akbar!” are there waiting for you … when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night.
They’re there on the train, at the magazine office, in the kosher supermarket, at the museum in Brussels, outside the barracks in Woolwich.When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does.
But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be many candle-light vigils of weepy tilty-headed tossers.
Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?
With his usual killer comedy timing, just before the attacks Barack Obama told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning, America that he’d “contained” IS and that they’re not “gaining strength”. A few hours later, a cell whose members claim to have been recruited by IS slaughtered 132 people in the heart of Paris and succeeded in getting two suicide bombers and a third bomb frighteningly close to French President Francois Hollande.
Visiting the Bataclan theatre after the horror, he declared “nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable”: We are going to wage a war that will be pitiless.
Does he mean it? Or is he just killing time until Obama and David Cameron and Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull fly in and they can all get back to talking about sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd century? By which time France and Germany and Belgium and Austria and the Netherlands will have been long washed away.Among his other coy evasions, Obama described the Paris attacks as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.
But that’s not true, is it?
He’s right in saying that it is an attack not just on Paris or France.
What it is is an attack on the West, on the civilisation that built the modern world — an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”.
And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity.
They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the various colonial subjects were at least obliged to pay lip service to them.
But the European empires retreated from the world and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level many of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live — modern, pluralist, Western societies and those “universal values” of which Obama bleats.
So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.And all Chancellor Merkel and the EU want to do is make that large comfort zone even bigger by letting millions more “Syrian refugees” walk into the continent and settle wherever they want.
As I wrote after the Copenhagen attacks in February: I would like to ask Mr Cameron and (Danish PM) Miss Thorning-Schmidt what’s their happy ending here? What’s their road map for fewer “acts of violence” in the years ahead?
Or are they riding on a wing and a prayer that they can manage the situation and hold it down to what cynical British civil servants used to call during the so-called Irish “Troubles” “an acceptable level of violence”?
In Nigeria and Pakistan, the citizenry are expected to live with the reality that every so often Boko Haram will kick open the door of the schoolhouse and kidnap your daughters for sex-slavery, or the Taliban will gun down your kids and behead their teacher in front of the class.
And it’s all entirely “random”, as President Obama would say, so you just have to put up with it once in a while, and it’s tough if it’s your kid, but that’s just the way it is.
If we’re being honest here, isn’t that all Mr Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt are offering their citizens?
Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life, but don’t worry, we’ll do our best to contain it — and you can help mitigate it by not going to “controversial” art events, or synagogues, or gay bars, or … or soccer matches, or concerts, or restaurants.
I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day.The West cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people, but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamisation and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.
So I say again: what’s the happy ending here? Because if Francois Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious.
And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamisation, then Europeans aren’t serious.
In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation Western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love. So screw the candle-light vigil.
Mark Steyn is a Canadian writer, commentator and blogger.