Nice attack

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, July 15th, 2016 - 160 comments
Categories: Europe - Tags: ,

As is being widely reported, a truck has been used as a weapon to kill around 60 people in Nice, as crowds celebrated Bastille Day. Many shots were fired and the driver is dead. Motives are not yet known, and (at time of writing) no group has claimed responsibility.

Coverage from The Guardian and The BBC.

160 comments on “Nice attack”

  1. dv 1

    I misread that a Nice rather than Nice France.
    I thought it was a bit insensitive until I engaged brain!!!!

  2. James 2

    I will never understand the hate that some people have that they can justify to themselves to kill innocent people in whatever cause they have.

    I hope the person(s) responsible rot in hell.

    • Molly 2.1

      “I will never understand the hate that some people have that they can justify to themselves to kill innocent people in whatever cause they have.

      James. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand it, but that is a conversation thread for another post.

      Like you, I just feel immense sorrow for those who have been killed and injured in this attack and for friends and families whose lives will never be the same.

    • Puckish Rogue 2.2

      I think part of the problem is the people involved actually believe there is a heaven and hell…

      • Exactly right, PR. And they also illogically believe that their murderous behaviour entitles them to go to Heaven, rather than the more likely Hell. As a race, we’re barely out of our infancy and still able to be fooled by fairy tales.

        As someone once sang, imagine no religion. We’ll get there eventually, but not for a while yet. First we have to grow up.

        • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1.1

          True, depressing, but true

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2

          Its the western powers led by self confessed Christians like Blair and Bush who have killed 2 million Muslims over the last 20 years.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1.2.1

            Who all believe in heaven and hell…

          • Nelson Muntz 2.2.1.2.2

            And you’d think that by now that the ragheads would have learnt not to start pissing fights with the West.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.2.1

              How would hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead from US sanctions learn that?

        • Nelson Muntz 2.2.1.3

          Is that finally an admission that it was an Islamist who was responsible???

      • Roflcopter 2.2.2

        It’s not part of the problem, it is THE problem.

        • Puckish Rogue 2.2.2.1

          I don’t know I’d go that far but its a huge part of it for sure

          • McGrath 2.2.2.1.1

            It’s more the medieval belief that mass murder gets you into heaven. Such logic defies all reason.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1.1

              You guys all have your western superiority intellectual blinders on.

              Look for clips showing how GW Bush justified the invasion of Iraq as doing the work of God in front of US evangelical Christians.

              Then proceeded to take actions which have killed approx 800,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly Muslims.

              Just google Dominionists if you have any doubts.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well I was just agreeing with TRP that religion, the belief in heaven and hell, is part of the problem so I’m not sure where you’re coming from

              • Stuart Munro

                If I were to speculate I’d put the Algerian colonial experiment fairly high on the causes list. And that happened because Napoleon didn’t pay his debts:

                During the Directory regime of the First French Republic (1795–99), the Bacri and the Busnach, Jewish negotiants of Algiers, provided important quantities of grain for Napoleon’s soldiers who participated in the Italian campaign of 1796. However, Bonaparte refused to pay the bill back, claiming it was excessive.

                Rather than pay, France invaded.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The true awfulness of what France did it in Algeria is too easily forgotten

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I taught an Algerian for a few years – nice people. His brother was killed by terrorists.

              • Tim

                Hey CV did you ever stop to consider that you might be an idiot? The west as a whole sure as hell is superior to these ISIS murderers. Targeting a dictator like Saddam who killed innocents is different to targeting civilians and children.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Or to paraphrase the words of former Sec State Madeline Albright – half a million dead Iraqi children was worth it.

                  That’s western superiority for you.

                • Guerilla Surgeon

                  So you think he belonged to Isis? In spite of the fact that just about everybody who knew him claimed that he wasn’t a good Muslim, that he drank, that he ate pork, and that he beat his wife up. That last – bad relationships with women – something he has in common with a lot of mass killers. Anyway, I’m assuming that the next time some young white kid walks up into a black church and kills nine people you’ll blame his Christianity?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It does appear that he followed a terrorist attack template explained in one of the ISIS PR magazines. Still, that in itself doesn’t mean that he was actually an Islamist.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol
                      Didn’t some teenager use a similar “template” at a chch party a few years back, with a car instead of an HGV?

                      Like that pilot with depression in the european Alps followed another “template”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      *shrug*

                      Suit yourself McFlock, you’re clearly a know it all.

                    • McFlock

                      Hey, I’m not the one channeling messages fromm the intrinsic intelligence of the universe here.

                      I’m sure ISIL put all sorts of boys’ own plots together for their online pr magazines. That doesn’t mean that everyone who comes up with asimilar plan did so because they read the website, or even sympathise with the cause more than they have difficulty dealing with their own fucked up lives.

                      Claiming otherwise blew up in ISIL’s face when it turned out that the orlando jerk was being a little bit overenthusiastic when it came to target familiarisation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t back away now McFlock.

      • mauī 2.2.3

        Yeah and France’s prison population being 70% muslim and muslims making up the bottom of the social ladder there im sure has nothing to do with anything…

      • Halfcrown 2.2.4

        “I think part of the problem is the people involved actually believe there is a heaven and hell…”

        +1 Good comment Puckish

  3. One Two 3

    Minds with lesser interest in seeking understanding, which is the true path towards wisdom, will reach for lazy rationale

    Then they will move onto the next distraction

  4. weka 4

    Just had a quick look at the Guardian link. There is nothing there yet to support that this is a terrorist attack apart from that authorities are treating it as such.

    27m ago 01:23
    What we know so far

    A large truck has ploughed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riveria city of Nice.

    The incident, which left at least 70 dead, is being treated as a terrorist attack.

    The driver of the truck has been killed by police. They are trying to determine if he had any accomplices.

    Authorities say the man was firing on the crowd as he drove, and that the truck was loaded with arms and grenades.

    Witnesses said the driver was purposefully aiming the vehicle at the crowd and “zigzagging” so that he could hit as many people as possible. It was reported that the attack lasted for two kilometres.

    After the incident, the police advised residents of Nice to remain in their homes.

    François Hollande, the French president, is on his way to Paris from Avignon to chair an emergency security and defence meeting at 9am on Friday. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, is on his way to Nice.

    World leaders, including Barack Obama, have condemned the attack. Donald Trump has postponed the announcement of his running mate following the incident.

    • Roflcopter 4.1

      How does “Authorities say the man was firing on the crowd as he drove, and that the truck was loaded with arms and grenades.” not make it a terrorist attack?

      • Sabine 4.1.1

        if he is a brown person it will be a terrorist attack, if it is a white person of french decent it will be a lone wolf/lone shooter.

        I used to live in Nice and have friends living there. It is a place with a lot of very rich people and even more that are very poor. A large community from mainly Tunesia, Marocco and Algeria, and many many others.

        I would exclude the Front National – the corse seperatists group as they usually don’t engage civilians, they may bomb empty buildings or kill each other but they do tent to avoid civilian casualities as they are more about getting France out of Corsica.

        Nissa La bella, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFOhbAg-HAw my home away from home.

        • Sabine 4.1.1.1

          i need to amend this comment as i got my political groups incorrect.

          Front National – extreme right wing group headed by Marie Le Pen daughter of Jean Marie Le Pen.

          the Corsicans are this group National Liberation Front of Corsica, FLNC.
          In saying that the Corse have stated that they would not use force again, and have been pretty good at it.

          as for terrorism, this is terrorism, it may be domestic rather then international, but make no mistake this is about terrifying the public and it has been working well.

      • BM 4.1.2

        Nothing out of the ordinary there, we don’t want to jump to conclusions. 🙄

      • weka 4.1.3

        I think Sabine covered that, but tell me what you definition of terrorism is. Is it the number of people killed and the kind of weapons used? Most people see terrorism as having a political motive.

        If we’re going to speculate (let’s face it, that’s all we can do at this point) let’s speculate past our prejudices.

        • Roflcopter 4.1.3.1

          Most people see terrorism as having a political motive.

          Nope, most people see terrorism as having a religious motive…. and they’re right.

          • weka 4.1.3.1.1

            I think that says more about you than general ideas about terrorism. What is it about my original comment that makes you think Nice has a religious motivation?

            • Roflcopter 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Show me where I said Nice had religious motivation at it’s core… I have said that Nice is a terrorist attack, and I have said that terrorism is seen as having a religious motive in the eyes of most people.

              However, I did not say that Nice was a terrorist attack based on religious motives.

              • weka

                weka: “There is nothing there yet to support that this is a terrorist attack apart from that authorities are treating it as such.”

                rofl: how is it not terrorism given the man killed lots of people and had lots of weapons?

                weka: how do you define terrorism, most people say it’s political? Inference obviously is how do you define terrorism in relationship to the conversation we’ve just had.

                rolf: religion! most people say so! they’re right!

                weka: not really. Why are you talking about religion in this subthread?

                rolf: I don’t want to make sense, I just want to say what I want when I want to.

                weka: ok, so now I know that rolf thinks that by definition terrorism is motivated by religion, except in this instance when terrorism is a man killing people with lots of weapons.

                /useless subthread

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.3.1.2

            Religion is often a cultural veneer on other problems. Ireland & Palestine were colonial problems – religion was a cultural marker for the different sides.

            You could argue that ISIS are religious terrorists because they are millenarian, but they formed from remnant Iraqi army regulars post invasion so it seems that religion determines the form rather than the fact of their insurgency.

          • Chuck 4.1.3.1.3

            Terrorism motive is always political

            Roflcopter when in this case you say religious you are on the right track.

            Islam is a political ideology…with a religious wrapping.

            • Rolfcopter 4.1.3.1.3.1

              That is completely incorrect.

              Islam is a religion that dictates how you should live every single facet of your life… the Koran has absolutely no political connections or underpinnings whatsoever.

              Islam’s “laws” and it’s enforcers answer only to the prophet Mohammad.

              • Chuck

                No its not, you need to educate yourself.

                Islam is a total system of life and contains within itself a particular social system, judicial system, and political system.

                A Muslim state is run according to Sharia law. Sharia is derived from the Koran and Hadith.

                • Rolfcopter

                  You just killed your own argument.

                  • Chuck

                    Stick your head in the sand…

                    “the Koran has absolutely no political connections or underpinnings whatsoever.” Is what you stated Rolf.

                    For Islam to be enacted or followed = Sharia law (Political and Judicial system).

                    Muslim religion does not exist without Sharia law.

                    “Islam’s “laws” and it’s enforcers answer only to the prophet Mohammad.”

                    Wrong again Rolf, Mohammad was only the messenger…Allah is who every Muslim ultimately answers to.

                    Islam is a political ideology.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Certainly Islam has not quite undergone the revision of the roles of the secular and the temporal that Christianity was obliged to undergo after the fall of Rome, which we see in Augustine’s City of God.

                      There is an Islamic parallel, Al Ghazali’s The Destruction of the Philosophers, but although it is an impressive work, it is not as severe a critique of its own religion.

                      There is both truth and fiction in claims that terrorism has religious roots. Strictly speaking terrorism is depotism, the rule of a state through fear, and a terrorist was a supporter of those French governments referred to under the term ‘la terreur’.

                      What we call terrorism today is more intellectually descended from anarchism as practised against the rule of the Czars – it is characterised by the use of explosives. These practices were subsumed by some Marxist revolutionary groups, but Marxism, as Savage noted, is essentially Christian descended and at its best could be described as applied Christianity.

                      More intellectual Marxists are less enthusiastic for bloody revolution these days and would describe groups like Shining Path as deculturated. The typical Islamic terrorist is also deculturated – settled Islamic communities produce few or none.

          • KJT 4.1.3.1.4

            I thought the US invasion of Iraq was all about petro-dollars?

      • Tim 4.1.4

        Haha, weka being even sillier than usual today.

  5. McFlock 5

    Another massive jerk ruins everyone else’s good time and turns a national holiday into the anniversary of the deaths of loved ones.

    Fucksake.

  6. mary_a 6

    Shocking!

    At first I thought it might have been an horrific accident. However media is reporting the truck driver was shooting at people before the vehicle ploughed into the crowds.

    Although this incident has the stamp of terrorism, we will have to wait for definite confirmation to learn if it was a terrorist attack or not. If it was deliberate, whatever the reason and there will be one I’m sure, there can be no justification for this type of act, maiming and killing innocent civilians to make a point.

  7. Siobhan 7

    Pointless and tragic loss of innocent civilians be it in Nice, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia…..its just in some countries these deaths impact the News Cycle because we consider the victims to be ‘like us’.

  8. Steve Wrathall 8

    And surprise, surprise, the driver was a Tunisian migrant. Repaying his host country’s hospitality “a thousand times over”.

    • joe90 8.1

      Grain of salt, but…

      The main Nice newspaper says the driver was a 31 year old local with Tunisian roots. https://t.co/ybYuYG8cV2— Benjamin Haddad (@benjaminhaddad) July 15, 2016

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      thanks for your simplistic BS. How many of his relatives in North Africa has NATO killed?

      • weka 8.2.1

        I think he’s supposed to be grateful that France let him live there instead of somewhere that gets bombed ;-/

      • NATO’s bombing Tunisia now?

      • Tim 8.2.3

        Go put your tinfoil dunce’s hat on CV, the grown ups are trying to talk. Why keep blaming everything else under the sun when it’s clear the motivation is religious? If only there was a vaccination against this sort of stupidity (not that you’d take it…)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.3.1

          While I agree with your assessment of CV, the reason people blame things other than religion is the evidence. For example, local daesh POW’s captured by the Iraqis and questioned by US military point out that the US invasion made everything worse. British jihadis cite personal and institutional experience of racism in their lives as strong motivators for radicalisation.

          Not to mention the billions of people of all religious faiths who don’t become violent.

    • Andre 8.3

      From Reuters “Newspaper Nice-Matin quoted unidentified sources as saying the driver was a 31-year-old local of Tunisian origin.”

      Which could mean he was born in France to Tunisian parents. I’ve heard from several sources that the migrant generation are rarely radical, it’s the kids that have grown up in ghettoes of mostly north african communities and treated as second-class citizens with limited opportunities that are more likely to get angry, frustrated and radicalized.

      • Anne 8.3.1

        I’ve heard from several sources that the migrant generation are rarely radical, it’s the kids that have grown up in ghettoes of mostly north african communities and treated as second-class citizens with limited opportunities that are more likely to get angry, frustrated and radicalized.

        So very true. They grow up suffering the bullying and racist taunts of their ‘saviour’ countrymen and women. Is it any wonder they turn on them when they are adults. We don’t know yet if this latest case is another example, but I won’t be surprised if it is.

        • Sanctuary 8.3.1.1

          The problem is several fold in France. First, it is the economic failure of France to provide sufficient jobs. Unemployment in France is around 11%, representing 3.6 million people. You can bet your bottom dollar that the unemployment rate in migrant communties is two or three times the national average, and higher still amongst young men.

          Secondly, The French constitution declares the country “an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic that assures equality before the law for all its citizens, without distinction of origin, of race, or religion”. In practice, this means that officially in France there are two sorts of people. French and non French. So they don’t count minorities (for example, the number of official non French in France is about 3.2 million, but the number could actually be as high as 8 million), or investigate racism, or practice affirmative action. You can’t be a minority if you are French. So racism and discrimination and disadvantage are ignored as officially impossible.

          Third, a majority of Europeans , at least in the romance countries, are culturally chauvinistic and a bit racist for that reason. For example, a vegetarian might get by in Spain, albeit miserably, but refusing to eat pork on religious grounds would be widely regarded as marking you forever as not really Spanish.

          So there you have it. Unemployed, officially invisible and culturally excluded Muslim minorities of indeterminate size exist in France’s no go urban peripherals. That is all the tinder you need. And the spark comes from Islamic radicals who find fertile ears in the idle and bored and resentful men in these excluded communities.

          Nothing much will be done. The fifth republic will hobble along while the French right surges back (people forget France has always had a reactionary right, from the Bourbon restoration to the Dreyfuss affair to Vichy and the Pied Noirs), the republic is discredited by OAS style death squads and it’s own inability to deal with whole sections of the state security apparatus it has lost control of until eventually there is a crisis that will end the fifth republic. In 1958 De Gaulle saved France from the Ultras. The next time, the minorities might not be so lucky and we’ll see a Petain emerge to preside over a slide into hard right authoritarianism and expulsions of anyone who won’t renounce Islam.

          • RedLogix 8.3.1.1.1

            Thanks for the informed perspectives. These events produce a whole range of emotions from anger, helplessness, disgust and a desire to lash out.

            Your thoughtful analyses are something solid to cling to. Thanks.

    • Siobhan 8.4

      Are you referring to the French conquest of Tunisia x two?? They only let go in 1956, and I’m not sure they were there for reasons of philanthropy.

      • Well, at least the French left. The Arabs are still there 14 centuries after their first invasion and their toxic religious legacy affects them economically and culturally to this day.

  9. Bill 9

    Why headline this when it’s already ‘everywhere’ and is designed to elicit mawkishness?

    Sure, I get that people who aren’t associated with official enemies were killed by people presumed to be associated with official enemies and that our feelings are to be constantly played and kept primed. I mean, if I don’t ‘get that’, then all I have to do is look at every bloody mainstream headline today and eventually I’ll learn, right?

    But whereas I’d expect that transparent attempt at manipulation to be played out by mainstream media sources, isn’t it a bit fucked when it’s echoed by, well… the likes of ‘the standard’?

    Case in point. 115 people were killed when they came onto the streets at the end of Ramadan less than two weeks ago. It was reported. I wouldn’t expect those deaths to headline. Just as I wouldn’t expect endless and mostly pointless interviews or press conferences with surgeons and doctors or survivors to be thickly plastered over my computer screen, TV screen and newspaper pages- as happened after the Orlando nightclub shooting and (allowing for the language barrier) will likely happen again over the next few days.

    Aside from there not being enough front pages to go round, we know ‘stenographers’ excuse, differentiate and report on such vacuous basis as nationality – or sometimes because it’s covertly accepted that in war torn countries kids and their parents are, at least on some level, ‘fair game’…and anyway, they aren’t living in a country or from a culture that gets a mention in ‘our’ list of friends.

    It’s all part of a shittily transparent and unhealthy sick ‘us and them’ … ‘worthy and unworthy’… ‘important and incidental’ set of narratives.

    Maybe it is just me that experiences a sense of disquiet when peripheral news sources or purveyors of opinion – such as ‘the standard’ – condone and echo these official priorities. I expect I’m not the only one though. I expect many people, quietly intimidated, just stay silent in the face of a tsunami of played emotions that’ve been unleashed by mainstream media sources and then ridden by some who, it might have been hoped, would have known better.

    edit – oops. covertly, not overtly

    • One Two 9.1

      Bill, it’s not just you….

      There are very many around the world

      Time is the variable, and how much more time it will take until the tipping point comes

      It’s already happening, it can’t be stopped

    • Reddelusion 9.2

      It’s reported more intensely bill because they are attacking us but I agree not necessary you, as you want out, feel free to move to one of these country or socialist paradise of your choosing and enjoy their press freedoms and lack of bias

      • Bill 9.2.1

        Way to miss the point and tip a barrel of dead red herrings into the bargain. Well done.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        It’s reported more intensely bill because they are attacking us

        Which “us”, you mean the French-New Zealand Emperium?

        • Stuart Munro 9.2.2.1

          Perfidious Akaroa’s Svengalian tenctacles reach all the way to the Med.

    • Lanthanide 9.3

      I agree Bill.

      I think headlining news stories like this, when they don’t have an obvious left-wing/Labour link, is silly.

      The assassination of the Labour MP in England for example, would be reasonable to make a headline post.

  10. Andrew 10

    I like how the posters are do the sympathise with Muslims bit, while condescendingly calling over 1.5 billion people ‘children’ for believing in God.

    Nice one fuckwits, you are laying the theoretical groundwork for islamophobia.

    How is a Muslim, thinking of joining the socialist movement, gonna feel when he sees such intolerance in NZ’s number one social democratic forum?

    • Rocco Siffredi 10.1

      Muslims are the true victims of this. They will all be living in fear of islamophobic attacks and another round of offensive cartoons.

      • Reddelusion 10.1.1

        Omg offensive cartoons, you choose to be offended very rarely do you choose to be killed

      • Psycho Milt 10.1.2

        Muslims are the true victims of this.

        You didn’t put in a /sarc tag.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1

          You waiting for the western powers to kill their third lot of one million Muslims before you count any Muslim deaths?

          • Psycho Milt 10.1.2.1.1

            I’m sorry, which western powers were driving the truck again?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Oh I see, you can’t reason together cause and effect going back longer than 24 hours.

              • Your concept of cause and effect is completely fucked. It’s a kind of “randomly-selected-bunch-of-eyes for some eye completely unrelated to me” bullshit that bears no scrutiny. By your logic, the “effect” resulting from this Nice-attack “cause” must be that someone in a developed-world country will decide to kill as many randomly-chosen Muslims as possible. If that were to happen, would you be in a blog comments thread gloating about how those Muslims only had themselves to blame?

      • Jay 10.1.3

        So the 85 dead aren’t the “true” victims, but “Muslims” are?

        Have you seen video from the scene? They sure look like victims to me.

        It’s amazing really. If Muslim civilians are killed by the west, it’s the fault of the West. If western civilians are killed by Muslims, it’s the fault of the West.

        Our views on what is right or wrong are in fact entirely irrelevant – none of us are decision makers nor do we directly influence them. But for crying out loud do you think we can all possibly unreservedly denounce using a truck to run over civilians, regardless of provocation? If for no other reason than of respect for the dead, wounded, and their families?

        Most commentators on this post seem to see this as a reasonable response to things like racism, unemployment, Israel, French actions in Tunisia, the war on terror etc etc.

        Murdering men, women and children by running them over with a truck is not a reasonable response to any of that. This isn’t legitimate protest, it isn’t “fair enough” or “what you get”.

        If my child had been murdered in this incident I would assume that the rest of the civilised world would unite in denouncing it, not apologise for or justify the actions of the offender. I somehow doubt grieving parents (who as we speak are perhaps turning their minds to funeral arrangements) would sympathise with the view that “Muslims” will be the “true” victims, or that anybody aside from the driver of the truck, and those who view this as a legitimate act of war, are to blame.

        In my opinion to do anything other than denounce this awful attack in the strongest of terms is utterly perverse.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1

          Seriously who are you trying to impress by your piously “denouncing” this or that? Do you really think your denouncements affect anything? Let the politicians and the talking heads do that moralistic soap box shit.

          We’re trying to figure out why our supposed political leaders are making us less and less safe, despite their promises and strategies of more military action and more surveillance over us.

          Aren’t you worried about that?

          • Jay 10.1.3.1.1

            Denouncing it is moralistic soap box shit? Do you realise that these are real people who have been killed in horrific and terrifying circumstances? In denouncing it I’m showing them the respect they deserve.

            Yes, in my view running over men, women and children is immoral. What’s your angle on it?

            I am trying to draw your attention to a tendency of many, of which you are one, to already blame France and the West for this.

            At the same time many don’t want to call it a terrorist attack or accept at this stage the offender might be an extremist.

            So in other words, we don’t know what his motives or affiliations are, but no matter what they are, we’ve got his excuses all ready for him, and btw we agree with them.

            It’s unemployment. It’s poverty. It’s French actions in Algeria. It’s the war on terror etc etc.

            So in other words, you give this shameful tragedy meaning in that you are already getting on whatever soapbox it is that this evil criminal stepped off of. While I don’t imagine you agree with what he did, most of you agree that he had a legitimate axe to grind.

            If he were alive now and reading this he would doubtless think this monstrous crime had achieved something, in that most of you are sympathizing with his motives, and again, I find that perverse.

            Legitimate protest draws our attention to wrongs. Mass murder of innocent people is not legitimate protest and must not be given legitimacy by intelligently debating his point of view. Noone will convince me of the legitimacy of this criminals motives, particularly not on a post such as this that should be a forum to express anger and sadness about this repugnant crime.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Nah, I won’t play your game of self righteous soap box denunciation masquerading as “paying respects”.

              Legitimate protest draws our attention to wrongs.

              We are entering an age where poor brown people from oppressed foreign countries start doing to the west, what we in the west have long gotten used to doing to them.

              You’ll probably find this “perverse” (you seem to like that word) but in the traditional non-western world the idea is very common: “karma is a bitch.”

        • RedLogix 10.1.3.2

          Most commentators on this post seem to see this as a reasonable response

          I think you may be misreading what is being said. I think what people are saying is that these events are not happening in a vacuum, that there is a reason why they are happening.

          But none of it is reasonable. I completely agree with you on that.

        • Bill 10.1.3.3

          Interesting the degree that your comment has Muslims diminished, disappeared and demonised Jay.

          If Muslim civilians are killed by the west, it’s the fault of the West. If western civilians are killed by Muslims, it’s the fault of the West.

          No Muslims in ‘the west’ or of ‘the west’ then? Your comment entirely excludes Muslims from having any place in a geographical or supposedly culturally civilised ‘west’. Worse, it implies that Muslims don’t live (or die) anywhere at all really (like say, predominantly in the Middle East or North Africa) and so invites a perception of ‘Muslim’ as some amorphous and non-corporeal entity inhabiting some kind of ‘nowhere’ that is everywhere or anywhere but here (or here, but only insofar as caught ‘out the corner of the eye’).

          I’m not having a go at you by the way, just picking up on some of the fairly typical short hand phrasing and terminology in your comment, and wrestling with it, because I’m reckoning it indicates to some extent, the degree of influence that some years of negative narratives have had on us.

      • emergency mike 10.1.4

        I’ll give Rocco the benefit of the doubt and assume he was not meaning to imply that the dead in Nice are not truly victims. Because that would be absurd.

        I think he was referring to, among other things, this:

        “No groups have claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, but the French president, François Hollande, said it was “terrorist in nature” and would be met by a show of “real force and military action in Syria and Iraq”.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/15/bastille-day-truck-driver-was-known-to-police-reports-say

        There is so far no link to any terrorist organisation, yet Hollande reckons he’s going to put on a show in far away Muslim countries because a French citizen from a different Muslim country lost the plot. Somehow that’s going to help or something.

        The people around for that show will also truly be victims.

    • …condescendingly calling over 1.5 billion people ‘children’ for believing in God.

      The only person who’s referred to them as ‘children’ on this thread is you. I prefer ‘irrational,’ ‘illogical’ or ‘superstitious’ myself.

      How is a Muslim, thinking of joining the socialist movement, gonna feel when he sees such intolerance in NZ’s number one social democratic forum?

      Meh. You might as well ask how 9/11-truthers or anti-vaxxers feel when their irrational claims get trashed by less gullible commenters on this blog. The answer’s the same: who cares?

      • One Two 10.2.1

        “Meh. You might as well ask how 9/11-truthers or anti-vaxxers feel when their irrational claims get trashed by less gullible commenters on this blog. The answer’s the same: who cares?”

        No, that’s your answer and the answer of those who operate on lower frequencies. See my comment #3 , above

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        Interesting you should bring 9/11 up. That was the beginning of stage 2 of the west’s modern war against Muslims.

        • Psycho Milt 10.2.2.1

          So you’re a “clash of civilisations” believer. Except, I doubt you’d have the bollocks to refer to a “Muslims’ modern war against the west,” which would be no less wrong than your “west’s modern war against Muslims” and just as speciously arguable.

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.1.1

            It’s not a “clash of civilisations”.

            It is a largely one sided murder of a couple of million mostly poor Muslims in poor Muslim countries by the wealthiest and most militarily advanced nations on Earth wielding multi-million dollar weapon systems.

            • Psycho Milt 10.2.2.1.1.1

              It’s not a clash of civilisations, and yet you cheerfully bang on about “the West” and “Muslims” as though each were some kind of monolithic entity. If that monolithic entity isn’t a civilisation, what do you think it is?

    • emergency mike 10.3

      “How is a Muslim, thinking of joining the socialist movement, gonna feel when he sees such intolerance in NZ’s number one social democratic forum?”

      Hopefully they will understand that condescending bigots are everywhere. The ranks of atheism are certainly not immune, same as other religions.

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    http://www.suramya.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/chronicles-of-wormwood-_3-12.jpg

    Maybe if this was heaven people wouldn’t be so quick to get there (Garth Ennis really is a great writer ;-))

  12. Rocco Siffredi 12

    I’m hoping this bloke with a piano can make it, he sorted out those previous attacks a treat.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/15/paris-attacks-john-lennon-imagine-pianist-davide-martello-klavierkunst

  13. Byd0nz 13

    Not nice is it, just like the thousands the french have murdered in Libya and elsewhere is not nice either. Capitalism kills and cant protect its voters.

    • Peter ChCh 13.1

      Yeah, like the communist regimes of Stalin and Mao did not kill hundreds of millions, all the greater glory of their cult of personality. Or the fascist regimes of Germany and Serbia and so on did not engage in industrial level ethnic cleansing. Like the Muslim Ottoman Empire did not exterminate Circassians and Armenians in their millions. Or the Jews of the old Testament or the Christians of the New. And so on and on.

      Take your university first year-level blinkers off and think. Capitalism does not have some sort of monopoly on killing.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Yeah, well – are you suggesting the word “only” was edited out from the comment you’re replying to?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        Take your university first year-level blinkers off and think. Capitalism does not have some sort of monopoly on killing.

        Correct. But capitalism is the way that we have decided to do it to others, and to ourselves.

  14. Sanctuary 14

    These sorts of lone wolf, random assaults and an open invitation to a response in kind. In fact, I think it is only at matter of time until the emergence of curiously hard to catch anti-muslim hyper nationalist terrorists who start truck bombing mosques.

    At one level, the government looking the other way while a “non state actor” organisation with close links to the security services terrorises it’s enemies in a clearly identifiable minority is a perfectly rational response. Death squads free the government from the legal process and uses the tools of the attackers against their own communities in an attritional war the state is bound to win.

    From the UDF and RUC in Ireland and the OAS in France to death squads made up of soldiers and police in South America, hostory tells us what will eventually happen.

    The end game is going to be the biggest religious and ethnic cleansing in Europe since the explusion of the Mariscos in the 17th century, with the outlawing of Islam in countries like France.

    • Peter ChCh 14.1

      I hardly think so. Overwhelmingly, most victims of ‘Islamic terrorism’ are Muslim. And overwhelmingly most Muslims are peaceful people living in peaceful countries. A few opportunistic nutters like Trump or Hanson will not carry much weight. And ISIS will run its course eventually.

      • Sanctuary 14.1.1

        I think you underestimate the power of cultural chauvinism in Europe. Terror attacks like this want to provoke a religious war, and eventually quasi state actors will oblige.

      • RedLogix 14.1.2

        And overwhelmingly most Muslims are peaceful people living in peaceful countries.

        While that is true, in the end it probably will not matter. The vast majority of people killed today were also peaceful people living peaceful lives and at some point tolerance of the ‘nutters’ and all they claim to represent will expire.

        Sanctuary is right, this all has a cold brutal logic that makes my heart sink. And I think there is little you or I can do or say to stop it. The only open question is just how many nails this coffin will need.

        • Anne 14.1.2.1

          Sanctuary is right, this all has a cold brutal logic that makes my heart sink.

          Exactly my sentiments.

          It happens all the time. The CIA, NSA, MI6, KGB (and their post Cold War equivalent FSB) and DGSE (think Rainbow Warrior bombing) are all guilty of what I term ‘State sanctioned terrorism’.

          Edit: I’m only guessing re-MI6 but would be surprised if it is squeaky clean.

    • instrider 14.2

      Yet those groups haven’t emerged in 15+ years of current Islamic terrorism…

      Lone wolf attacks are actually a sign of the failure of an ideology to gain wider support or a desperate attempt to inflame an issue.

      The French public like the Americans and British may be horrified by these attacks but they also see the attackers mostly being killed and the war being taken to their spiritual masters, who are also dying. That might be giving them comfort and preventing large scale violent responses.

      The difference with NI I think is you had a much more evenly divided community with civil, political and terrorist campaigns running in tandem that collectively gave the nationalist cause widespread support. as well that made the conflict and outcome more finely balanced. (I don’t think anyone anticipates islamacists gaining any form of victory in France.) So that probably drove a “they are all legitimate targets” mentality

      Note that the ira and inla carried out death squad campaigns and they received a level of support from police and church south of the border

    • There may be other options to expulsion. Containment in “Islamic microstates” i.e. what are currently no-go zones or banlieues is one. Another is the creation of a moderate Westernised Islam, which will require a high level of cooperation, effort and expense in the nations affected.

      This could delay a civil war such as you suggest by decades.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    This is the thing. The toll of dead and injured in France from terror in the past two years is approaching 400 or 500. Now, most people know around 250 people in their immediate friends and family. So 100,000 people in France probably know someone killed or wounded by terror. But if you consider the people that know someone who knows someone then the immediate impact of ongoing terror begins to include everyone in the country. Jesus, I had a coffee in Starbucks in Brussels airport two weeks before the attack there exactly at that place in the airport, which alone is enough to give you pause for thought. The point is, you will eventually reach a critical mass where enough people are prepared to look the other way that groups like the OAS can gain traction and support.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      The point is, you will eventually reach a critical mass where enough people are prepared to look the other way that groups like the OAS can gain traction and support.

      Who wanted to bomb and regime change Iraq? Who wanted to bomb and regime change Libya? Who wanted to bomb and regime change Syria? The western leadership class.

      Who continues a system which leads to inequality, poverty and helplessness amongst their own people? The western leadership class.

      And do I need to go on and ask who supports violent oppressive regimes in the ME, including of course, Israel but also places like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Tunisia. Yes, our very own western leadership class.

      Being democracies, it seems that a critical mass of people in western countries are already willing to “look the other way” to empower extremist action. By our own leaders.

      • mauī 15.2.1

        I agree those are root causes, and now ordinary french citizens are bought face to face with war on their own soil they’re probably going to vote for right wing National Front which will bring more violence. Also media are culpable as many already know (they never asked the critical questions of the Iraq War for instance), as I was watching CNN they were seriously asking the question of what military response France should take. Completely fucked.

        • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1

          Addressing unemployment and poverty in France’s migrant slums and stopping support of countries like Saudi Arabia seems beyond their comprehension.

          And for France, their history in Algeria is an open wound.

      • Sanctary 15.2.2

        This is the language of an ideological fool. If we are to accept the entire French civilian population, from the smallest baby victim to the oldest pensioner, is collectively guilty and therefore collectively liable for punishment via mass murder then the opposite is also true, and the French government is therefore quite within its right to kill any number of civilians of Tunisian origin. In effect, you are green lighting death squads to inflict collective punishment on Muslims in France.

        There is a reason collective punishment is regarded as a serious crime against humanity.

        • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.1

          It’s odd you speak in the language of justification and guilt, whereas I speak in the language of context and causality.

          And you didn’t pick up the difference.

          • RedLogix 15.2.2.1.1

            Says the guy who backs China’s ‘superior’ claim to the South China Sea.

            History is history mate, and none of us have the slightest scrap of moral high ground from which to be posturing. The only question that really matters is that while understanding our past is essential to informing how we got to where we are; are we going to keep repeating it?

            • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.1.1.1

              you or I may not have the high ground, but you or I do not have geopolitical power to act in (or against) the interests of our own nation.

              • aren’t you saying that the past and current actions of a government, elected by the citizens, creates geopolitical ramifications (murder/death/mayhem) for the citizens because of the actions of the government which they elected?

                cos that’s the line on the previous bomb post that you pushed

                it was dim then and dimmer now – have to agree with sanctuary – cv = ideological fool.

          • Psycho Milt 15.2.2.1.2

            Then consider Sanctuary’s comment as likewise a matter of context and causality. If we accept your bullshit, context and causality means we shouldn’t be surprised if the French government now starts randomly killing civilians in Tunisia – or sets up death squads to kill Muslims in France.

            • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.1.2.1

              Or bombing Islamist groups in Syria set up by its own NATO allies.

  16. Pat 16

    Listening to the language in the reports and public statements it would appear the terrorists are winning….they are going to get the result they want.

  17. weka 17

    8 hours later,

    The incident is being widely described as a “terrorist” attack, but the motive of the driver, who was shot dead by police after killing at least 84 people, is not known.

    The driver, a 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian born in Tunisia, was known to the police but not the intelligence services, a police told Reuters.

    Extremist expert Charlie Winter, senior research associate at Georgia State University, points out that Islamic State has not issued any statement on Nice so far.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jul/14/nice-bastille-day-france-attack-promenade-des-anglais-vehicle

    • …but the motive of the driver, who was shot dead by police after killing at least 84 people, is not known.

      Maybe there was a wasp in the cab? He hated fireworks? Was an intense supporter of the Ancien Régime? Had had enough of tourists? They’re right, who could possibly guess what his motive was?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        It’s important to find out what his true motives were. If they know who he is they’ll be able to access all his physical and online materials now.

      • Pat 17.1.2

        perhaps he was pumped up on meth

      • weka 17.1.3

        Maybe there was a wasp in the cab? He hated fireworks? Was an intense supporter of the Ancien Régime? Had had enough of tourists? They’re right, who could possibly guess what his motive was?

        I’m reasonably confident that that will be the stupidest comment on Nice we see on the standard. It will be one of the less compassionate ones too.

        • Psycho Milt 17.1.3.1

          The least compassionate, I hope. Compassion isn’t an appropriate feeling for someone who’d deliberately drive a truck into a crowd of random strangers.

          • McFlock 17.1.3.1.1

            Actually, it’s almost certainly a very appropriate response to someone who ends up in that mindspace.

            Because the absence of compassion for those who inflict pain simply puts us into the same mindspace that they were in: anger focussed at people who we no longer fully regard as human.

            It’s incredibly difficult to respond to violence with compassion, few of us can really do it, but it’s something to aspire to. The alternative is to just continue the cycle of violence and injustice.

            • marty mars 17.1.3.1.1.1

              + 1 good comment

            • Psycho Milt 17.1.3.1.1.2

              …anger focussed at people who we no longer fully regard as human.

              Wanting to hurt and kill other people for bullshit made-up reasons seems to be very human, if history is any guide. Every murdering fascist is a human who considers he has good reasons for what he’s doing, but that doesn’t mean we have to pretend he’s an OK bloke whose viewpoint needs respecting.

              • McFlock

                Yes because that’s totally what the word “compassion” means. /sarc

                • It means “sympathetic pity and concern.” By all means let’s figure out exactly how these fascist fuckwits have talked themselves into viewing the mass murder of random strangers as a moral virtue, so that we’re better able to identify and stop them before they act. But sympathy, pity and concern for them and their fucked-up views are superfluous.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

                    Which isn’t exactly what you wrote. Just saying.

                  • McFlock

                    And yet a lack of pity and concern for their victims is exactly what enables them to be such massive dickheads. And you can’t understand why they do what they do if you are incapable of sympathising (let alone empathising) with them as well as their victims and targets.

                    So all your attitude does is continue the cycle.

                    • Sure. You read a lot of stuff about the Nazis that starts from a position of “bad guys”and goes no further than that in trying to understand their motivations. Figuring out what their beef was and why they thought they had a case for taking over Europe and ridding it of Jews is a way better starting point, but only in the sense of being better able to rebut and condemn those kind of fucked-up views when you see them developing – sympathising with it, on the other hand, is a different and decidedly unpleasant thing.

                    • McFlock

                      Nope.

                      A psychologist without empathy is useless.

                      Reading without understanding doesn’t help identify the intervention points to prevent future people being jerks.

                      Nor, should the jerk survive, does it help the jerk stop being a jerk and a posterface for other jerks.

                      But most importantly, as soon as we switch off sympathy for another’s pain as being “superfluous”, we become jerks ourselves.

                    • Maybe the jerk who killed 80 people because he had fucked-up ideas could have been brought round to being not so much of a jerk that he wouldn’t pose a permanent existential threat to his neighbours? I guess it’s possible, but which of his neighbours would volunteer to participate in the experiment? Sometimes, the jerk ending up full of holes is the best possible outcome.

                    • McFlock

                      The norwegians beg to differ

                    • weka

                      “– sympathising with it, on the other hand, is a different and decidedly unpleasant thing.”

                      Sympathy and compassion are not the same thing. Seriously Milt, you are missing the core thing here. Having compassion in this situation for the driver isn’t about being sympathetic to his cause. One can abhor what he has done, find nothing redemable in it at all, and still understand the background/underlying causes and feel pathos about the person he is that he could do such a thing. Much of that is about understanding suffering. And before you go off again, that isn’t about comparing his suffering with the suffering of those he murdered (that would be a bizarre thing to do), nor does understanding the suffering in any way mean that he is not wholly responsible for a totally reprehensible act.

                      I would also add (with a nod to the other subthread here) that it’s possible to shoot the driver from a place of compassion. Compassion isn’t inherently incompatible with taking action against someone who is causing harm.

                      Compassion isn’t a touchy feely, sage burning thing. It’s the ability to understand and feel that there but for the grace of god/fate etc. To understand that the driver was a human like me, and that I could have been born into his life.

                    • It’s the ability to understand and feel that there but for the grace of god/fate etc. To understand that the driver was a human like me, and that I could have been born into his life.

                      I would have called that empathy rather than compassion. Also, I reject the suggestion I lack such understanding. Everybody has reasons for what they do that make sense to them based on their life experience so far, and the assumption that you wouldn’t be like them if you had the same genes and life experience is a bold one. That applies to this dead creep as much as it does to me, but I don’t think his motivations are a great mystery, any more than Dylan Roof’s were.

            • RedLogix 17.1.3.1.1.3

              McF

              Absolutely a fine comment. No quibble at all.

              But neither is it justice to permit the violent to kill and main the innocent with no constraint.

              Here is the thing; each of us as individuals can aspire to be compassionate and to forgive; but it is the role of our social and governing institutions to administer justice and enforcement.

              Too often in the modern world we get this relationship completely inverted.

              • Colonial Viper

                what shall the response of the people be when our governing institutions discard social justice, natural law and due process?

                • RedLogix

                  Exactly. This is why politics matters; this is why the world is in a very sick state right now. There are very many disparate symptoms of this everywhere we look. I am not against you in this.

                  But crucially I want you to think about what will be the cure; what would good governance, healthy justice and a robust, diverse globalised world look like? And then what is needed to get there?

                  Most of us here are idealists, and for this reason much of our lives will be blighted by disappointment. But right now the world needs us dreamers more than ever.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Cornel West:

                    “There are four questions every generation has to wrestle with,” said West, channeling twentieth-century intellectual W.E.B. DuBois. “How shall integrity face oppression? . . . What does honesty do in the face of deception? . . . What does decency do in the face of insult? . . . How does virtue meet brute force?”

                    • RedLogix

                      It set’s out it’s principles and organises. It creates institutions that separate out ego and authority, it holds itself to democratic accountability.

                      It’s leaders and thinkers set a personal example by their lives; it educates, encourages and inspires us to do great things … and then expects in return for us to do our duty and uphold our responsibility.

                      What does honesty do in the face of deception?

                      Indeed. The problem is that truth is truth, is no more no less than what it is. You cannot expand nor diminish it. By contrast the lie is subject to no limits, the more it is embellished the more effective it becomes.

                      Insult is subject to no constraint; while decency is the soul of it.

                      And virtue alone becomes mere bait for the brute.

                      The answer is this; while integrity, honesty, decency and virtue are qualities we can possess as individuals, it is only as a society that we can define and administer justice. This is the root of all things.

              • McFlock

                I fully support the cops.who shot the driver to stop him rather than burning sage or what have you. But compassion leads to understanding which enables prevention.

  18. millsy 18

    Successive expansion of survelliance powers and erosions of civil liberties, plus unloading ordinance on sleepy hamlets really worked in preventing these attacks didnt they?

    • Pat 18.1

      no, it hasn’t….but then what do you suggest will?

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        Firstly lets understand what the mass surveillance and regime change programme is actually all about. Clearly, our safety as citizens and the security of our nations is not it.

        To what end then is all this money, effort, hardware, resources and legislative effort for?

  19. Tinfoilhat 19

    I’ve seen a number of vile threads on this blog over the months, this one has reached a level I can no longer countenance. No more visits to the standard for me.

  20. One Two 20

    Fake weapons were found in the truck

    Props are used in productions, so are actors

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