Mourn all victims

CTV reported late Friday that “the streets of Paris are streaked with blood” and one of its star reporters spoke about “terror acts empty of human purpose.” If Tom Walter’s opinion is shared by the leaders of our western civilization, progress toward a peaceful world will be nil.

Doing so blurs lines between victims and culprits, so it is discomforting to admit there really are purposes behind suicidal acts of ruthless violence. We don’t understand them fully, but they exist and we need to decipher the motivations of people who intend us harm. Only then can we address and resolve differences. If we fail, bellicosity and military actions are deadly substitutes for a just society.

Pierre Trudeau first used that term 47 years ago and no doubt his son considers the notion today. It involves construction of a nation in which the rights of minorities are safe and the disadvantaged gain a more meaningful equality of opportunity. Those objectives have merit on the world stage too.

The fright in Paris is but one drop in a roiling ocean of human tragedy. As I write this, the death toll stands at about 130. This act of terror is horrific but, in relative terms, minor on the scale of atrocities. In 2011, The Economist wrote Chronicle of death ignored:

OVER the past 15 years war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has consumed as many as 5 million lives, often gruesomely: children murdering in gangs, civilians massacred by the thousand, rape as common as petty thievery. And yet, who can name the man responsible? …

Of course, there are countless examples of mass killings; most more remote than cruelties occurring near the River Seine, within a kilometre of the iconic Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Knowing the ongoing disruption in the middle east, let us keep Friday’s shock in perspective and dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of peace and justice everywhere.

Project for the Study of the 21st Century, Nov 2015:

Amnesty International, Aug 2014:

The families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

Aljazeera, Feb 2015:

At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel’s summer 2014 war, according to an AP investigation. 508 of the dead were children, women and older men.

BBC World News, Sept 2015:

The UN says almost 4,900 people, including more than 2,200 civilians, have been killed in Yemen in fighting on the ground and air strikes since 26 March.

New York Times, Sep 2015:

More than 200,000 people have been killed in the four-and-a-half-year Syrian civil war.

Ontario journalist Andrew Mitrovica, November 13, 2015:

Yesterday, mass murder in Lebanon and, of course, Iraq. Today, mass murder in Paris. All innocents. All need to be mourned and remembered.

Categories: International

14 replies »

  1. As the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, the have and the have-nots, the advantaged and the disadvantaged, widens with ever increasing numbers at the bottom the sense of despair and hopelessness intensifies in the minds of the poor and the marginalized.

    No wonder that some find comfort in grouping with like-minded individuals who lash out in desperation with such violence and unable to target the individuals that are the cause of their ongoing misery they target society at large in a suicidal attack that they envision will result in a measure of relief from their despair.

    Our culture further demeans the poor and marginalized by depriving them of access to a sound education and reasonable rewards for their labours and if out of desperation they run afoul of the upper society's laws they are severely punished by an army of police, lawyers, judges and guards while the really high end thieves of our wealth seem to be immune from any form of prosecution for their greed and take that as licence to increase their riches.

    This is a recipe for social disaster and I fear this is only the beginning unless we make a colossal effort to level the playing field.


  2. “…while the really high end thieves of our wealth seem to be immune from any form of prosecution for their greed and take that as a licence to increase their riches.” Any resemblance to local politics is purely coincidental!


  3. On CNN about 10:30 this morning Christianne Amanpour and Chris Cuomo were doing a live report from Paris. They cut away to get an update from Pamela Brown in Washington, who wanted to “pass along some sad news”. The sad news was that one of the dead in Paris was an American.

    Then it was back to Paris for some (presumably) regular news.


  4. I listened to CKNW last night after 9 pm and there was a former US military strategist on that said that the big corps of the world, who own 90% of the media in the world, are planning all this with the backing of most gov'ts, who are in the pockets of these criminals. He said that the US is heading to a 3rd world war against China-USSR and that they will probably lose, which plays into the corps. agenda.
    Also, Obama previously admitted that the US has backed ISIS to fight Assad in Syria (reiterated by Putin), and probably initially set them up, just like al-Qaeda and 911. The strategist said that his opinion is that Saudi Arabia and Mossad were behind it
    This former strategist also said that the US is raping and pillaging most couintires for their resources and the elimination of their Nationalistic leaders to be replaced by a US figureheads.
    No wonder people are blowing themselves up when their outlook is so futile.
    So be warned that this will be coming to our front door very soon, as planned by the biggest corps. in the world and the Rockefellers (1%'ers) etc.
    My take is the corps. already have control of Canada (just witness Crusty, her shite eating grin) Just look at Quebec company Power Corp. You know she's backed by heavy hitters and she thinks she's untouchable, aliong with her previous criminal co-hort, Gordo Scumbell. And from my take they are untouchable.
    Site C was never about LNG, it's about water for the US.
    This is all my own opinion.


  5. I believe the majority of westerners/North Americans did not understand and/or believe the pronouncements of such as the leaders of the Iranian revolution back in the '80s, the forces behind the 9/11 attacks and these Al Qaeda and Isis barbarians that they would bring war to our doorsteps.
    The terrorism that has existed for many decades in other parts of the world is just beginning to surface in western countries. That is not to say that the seeds were not planted long ago. Migrations of peoples from “troubled” lands to safe havens, such as European centres, has been going on for a long time. Such migrations of victims are fine and well and good on god-fearing people to take them in. However, (and I sure hope our PM is considering this re: the Syrian refugee influx) such movements of people can be used as cover for infiltration.
    There are many European cities which have, for many years, been inhabited by members of sleeper cells of hell-bent terrorists, of whatever you want to call them. Eventually they are activated, as we have seen in Paris. I believe we are only seeing the beginning of many such attacks against the west.
    And these people are highly organized and militarized. The precision with which the Paris attacks were carried out was astounding; everything from the attention-grabbing self-detonations outside the soccer stadium to divert police resources to the the multitude of kill as many as you can shootings at various locations to divert more police/emergency resources to the conclusion of the end game assault at the concert theatre. That was the focal point all along, hit a, enclosed location where you can take as many lives as possible.
    There was no doubt those attackers were not coming out alive. They are NOT supposed to. They are there to kill as many as possible and not be taken alive so as not to be able to provide information.
    This war against the west is just starting.
    I saw Bill Maher say on his TV show Friday night, “What have they got against us?” You've got to be kidding! How might we react if some air resources from some other country came here and bombed the tar out of our families, friends, us, our homes, work places, bastions of security?
    Secondly the fact that Maher could make that statement was a glaring display of American arrogance and pomposity and contained within it its own answer.
    I understand your comment, Ron Wilton, about the aggravation and even worse brought on by the widening gap between rich and the rest of us, and I despise the fact some, even in this province, would use democracy to feather their own beds while selling the rest downstream, but this global movement goes much deeper than that I would humbly observe.

    And yes, mourn all victims. And become informed.


  6. very well said and the stats are the icing on the cake.

    the reason there is such “outrage” is because the violence is being “committed” by non French on French. Its like the Americans and their twin towers routine. They kill more with drunk driving and guns each year, but that is a big yawn. (about 50K for each category)

    B.C., about 185 are killed each yr by drunken drivers and a similar number by distracted drivers. Do we ban driving, drinking, no life goes on and so do the deaths. don't hear the media caterwaulying. But attacking the French in paris, my god, how could they. 'what did people expect? The west took the war into the homes of the people of the middle east now they are returning the favour. War is no longer waged in the home lands of the disadvantaged. They can now bring it home to us in the West. Get used to it. Its going to happen again and again. Until western governments stop fighting on behalf of oil corporations do not expect the people to take it laying down. The sooner Trudeau brings home our jets the safer we in Canada will be.
    of course this now gives some an excuse to not accept Syrian and middle eastern refugees. The Question is, if the French are so good at intelligence in the middle east how did they miss this? There is always the scenario of, they didn't, they let it happen. They now have martial law and the government gets to do a lot of things they couldn't before, including closing border. How convienant.


  7. Ron, your post explains this:

    Sandy Garossino: “Christy Clark never met a millionaire she didn’t like. And that goes double for their little darlings.

    Clark showed her love for private schools on the last day of the most recent sitting of the legislature by tabling legislation permanently exempting them from municipal property taxes, which have not historically been collected. This while the Vancouver School Board has to go into hock to the tune of $1.6 million to build a needed downtown school.”

    July Morning


  8. You may have watched Bill Maher Friday night, but you seem to have missed his point. First, he did not say, “What have they got against us?” He asked the question that was on the cover of Time after the 911 attacks. “Why do they hate us?”

    He then said “Bombing them over there is what is causing the Paris thing to happen. That connection needs to be made. We don't have to be bombing them there.” He also said, “I have a crazy idea. Why don’t we get out of Muslim lands?” He lost his ABC show after the 911 attacks for similar comments.

    I do not agree with your comment that, “Secondly the fact that Maher could make that statement was a glaring display of American arrogance and pomposity and contained within it its own answer.” First, he was opening the segment with a logical question, not a statement (and not even the question you attributed to him), and second, he was pointing out the very arrogance and pomposity of bombing everything that moves as a solution for everything. You wrongly condemn him for taking the same viewpoint as you do when you ask how we would react if someone was bombing the tar out of our home and family.

    I invite you to revisit the entire show, including the opening interview with Asra Nomani, and then possibly return with an edit of your comments. As you say, become informed.


  9. St. Georges School and the youngsters will be the target of these people when the shite does hit the fan and Crusty's face….That'll take care of that smile…. If I had a kid in those schools, I'd be home schooling them from now on.
    The latest ISIS message supposedly came from Canada.


  10. I also watched Bill Maher's show and agree with Lew's comments.
    I watch Maher each week, and have heard him say this perhaps three times: “Why don't we get out of there (the middle east) and let them deal with it themselves?” i.e. Saudi Arabia, and others.

    Maher was also the first American I heard saying: “There was no problem while Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, but George W insisted Saddam had to go. We created that…”

    The 1 percenters control the military complex and mainstream media.

    Bill Maher is the voice of reason in America.

    The opening interview with Ms. Asra Nomani was, frankly, spell-binding.


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