Friday, July 15, 2016

Nice massacre: UPDATED with comment from Rex Murphy

At least 84 people have been killed in city of Nice, on the French Riviera, after an armed man drove a tractor-trailer for well over a mile at full speed through a crowd who had gathered to watch the Bastille Day fireworks over the seafront. The attack on France’s national day came eight months after 130 people were killed in coordinated attacks on a stadium, bars and a rock concert at the Bataclan venue in Paris. In January of 2015 another dozen people were killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. That makes three major terrorist attacks in 18 months, with 226 killed, and counting....

By whom and for what? In a rare moment of comprehension, President François Hollande said the Nice killings on Thursday night appeared to be a terrorist attack. But, he and the lamestream media rushed to say, it was too early to speculate on the motivation, identity or possible affiliation of an attacker. That was last night. This morning, in the cold light of dawn, French security forces revealed that the driver of the monster truck was Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, an immigrant from Tunisia.

Tunisia is a former French colony on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. There were two massacres of innocent people, mostly tourists, in Tunisia last year. On 26 June 2015, 38 people were killed when an armed gunman attacked a hotel in Sousse. Three months earlier, 22 more were killed in an attack at the Bardo National Museum. The attackers were Islamic extremists, acting on the commands of the Holy Qu'ran to kill infidels wherever they might be found.

M Bouhlel was an Arab and a follower of the Prophet. He is said to have been "known to police", but was not on any security watchlist. No-one heard his last words, amidst the screams of the dying, and the bangs of the fireworks and gunfire, but Walt wouldn't be surprised if his last moments sounded like this!

Further reading: "Why Terrorists Keep Succeeding in France" by Leonid Bershidsky, on Bloomberg, 15/7/16. Key point: inadequate policing and a failure to integrate immigrants.

And still more reading (added 17/7): "The world is becoming immunized to the horrors of terrorism". Rex Murphy in the National Post. Quote: "How many lone wolves does it take to make a pack?... Western leaders spend more time trying to muffle the domestic reaction to terror attacks than on the terror attacks themselves. They readily fire up the increasingly numb and hollow tropes of racism and xenophobia when ordinary people speak what they actually feel after each fresh horror.

"It is little wonder, then, that people turn to more radical solution offered by the likes of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage: when legitimate expressions of concern are put off limits, people will seek a voice for their fears and worries.... The merciless character and unappeasable appetites of murderous jihadism call for real and determined leadership."

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