Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, November 14th, 2015 - 246 comments
Categories: International - Tags: ,

Three explosions and shootings in Paris. Reports are of dozens dead.

Live updates from The Guardian

The death toll has risen to at least 35 people, according to the Press Association. French media reports put the number as high as 30.

From the BBC.

At least one man opened fire with an automatic gun at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district.
Shooting has also been heard near the Bataclan arts centre with reports of hostages have been taken there.
Three explosions are also reported outside a bar near the Stade de France, where France were hosting Germany.

And updates from The Independent.

Update:  If you want to have the incident summarised in less than 140 characters …

246 comments on “Paris ”

  1. Whispering Kate 1

    Firstly my sympathies go out to the people of Paris. Secondly as a lay person, breaking this situation down to the simplest reason why this happened – if, and I say if, this has been caused by some faction from the Middle East, in my opinion quite simply the root cause is the West poking its nose into other countries affairs and interfering and destabilizing their political structure. It seems to me that there are some cultures who do not seem to be able to cope with “democracy” which is, these days as bad almost as a dictatorship. From where I see it Libya and Iraq for all it being a dictatorship in the past did had a much better way of life for its citizens with good education/universities, rights for women up to a point where they could be doctors/teachers/researchers etc. Now it is just lots of factions all squabbling and terror groups which have been formed because of this meddling. Just a thought – we have a new sort of war constantly with us now and the governments of the West just love to feed the fear into us – it’s all their fault I believe that we now have to endure this going on all the time.

    • Grindlebottom 1.1

      I agree with everything you just said Kate. The West’s pissing about in the Middle East and Afghanistan has sown the seed for the rise of Islamic fundamentalist extremism and it’s going to be a long term problem.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Isn’t it a bit soon to start speculating on underlying causes when we don’t know who is responsible?

        • Grindlebottom

          Yes, true, weka. Has all the hallmarks of a typical coordinated Islamic extremist attack but you’re right, too early to speculate that it actually is them. I do however agree with Kate’s general comments about the West having screwed up the Middle East big time in the last 10 years.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I do however agree with Kate’s general comments about the West having screwed up the Middle East big time in the last 10 years.

            More like the last 1000 years.

            • Grindlebottom

              Yeah, but don’t forget Draco the crusades were themselves a response to earlier muslim crusades which expanded out of Arabia and took over huge swathes of territory in which Judaism & more latterly Christianity had then predominated.

              Mohammed constructed Islam after studying those two religions.

            • Richard Christie

              Jihad came to Europe before crusade went to the Middle East


          • Colonial Viper

            Has all the hallmarks of a typical coordinated Islamic extremist attack

            Bullshit mate, what other “typical” examples are you referring to.

        • Grindlebottom

          Al Jazeera said unconfirmed reports one of the attackers shouted “it’s for Syria”, and 2ZB just reported they are shooting hostages.

        • Ergo Robertina

          ”A witness quoted by BFM television said he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.”

          ”There was no claim of responsibility, but Twitter erupted with celebratory messages by members and sympathizers of the Islamic State.”

          • weka

            Sounds like what usually happens in these situations. The media report all the various reports and ideas about what happened and after a few days we get more informed and/or official perspectives.

        • Matthew Hooton

          I think Kate’s comments also deny the human autonomy of people in the Middle East. Under her outlook, their conduct, for good or ill, is determined by what white skinned people do or don’t do. She may want to reflect on that.

          • emergency mike

            Rubbish Matthew, she’s saying that you shit on other countries from afar don’t be too surprised if some extremist person or group gets angry enough do do some violence like this.

            Plus you might want to reflect on the silliness of trying to make this about ‘white skinned’ vs ‘brown skinned’ people. But I guess old habits die hard aye?

          • Grindlebottom

            I think she’s just pointing out the realities of the situation Matthew. The West’s disposal of Saddam Hussein and its encouragement to other groups (mostly islamists) in other middle east and North African countries to overthrow the existing secular political systems and introduce democracy has led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and internecine bloodletting. These countries have no history of democratic development and any fool could see what would happen when the dictators were simply removed, a vacuum left, and the lid came off.

            The rise of ISIS is directly the result of US ill-considered blundering in Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi even recruited most of his principal lieutenants, ex-Iraqi Army Officers, while in detention in Camp Bucca where the US regarded him as an influential leader they could rely on to help keep order.

          • Bill

            Take an area. Bomb it to crap. Rip to shreds the institutional fabric of the society that’s located there. In essence create chaos; an environment that both encourages and favours the ascendancy of power that rides on violence.

            If it’s white skinned people who are doing that or who have done that, then it’s you who might profit from reflecting on what Whispering Kate has written.

            How is autonomy/self determination realised when armed drones buzz overhead, infrastructure has been totaled, cultural/political institutions have been obliterated, and where guns and murder are more commonplace than the traumatised and angry people who carry them?

            • Psycho Milt

              As far as I’m aware, none of that has happened to France recently. And even if it had, the self-justification that murderers create for their actions are irrelevant. If anything, they’re an aggravating factor.

              • Colonial Viper

                The west is happy to take war into civilian towns and villages throughout the middle East and North Africa. Air bombardment of MSF hospitals and drone strikes on wedding parties.

                There are also plenty of “self justifications” from western leaders, when they go ahead and do that.

                Remember, the Islamic militants learnt their craft having been taught by the CIA, who wanted them to use their skills to take down a superpower by assymetric means.

                • You left out the bit in which you demonstrate the relevance of your comment to the subject of the post.

                  • Michael

                    Of course his post his relevant. Daesh (or another equally odious bunch of Islamic fundamentalist) struck the French capital in order to provoke a disproportionate response from the West and recruit more jihadists to their cause. The fact that western countries (and Russia) have been meddling in the Middle East for years, with disastrous effects, is the casus belli.

                  • greywarshark

                    Better understanding is relevant PM. A search for factual thought rather than dismissal of such would be an aid to enlightenment.

                    • The dismissal of this kind of exculpatory bullshit is a product of ‘factual thought’ and ‘enlightenment.’

                      The argument above is that attacks on French citizens are the result of French attacks on Muslim countries, that we can reasonably expect such attacks, and we should consider the French government as having provided the attackers with a casus belli.

                      By that logic, we should consider that Da’esh’s attacks on France have presented a casus belli against Muslims, that it would be reasonable to expect the more radical elements of French society to start randomly murdering Muslims as opportunities present themselves, and that the responsibility for it lies with Da’esh. It’s moronic and offensive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PM you have missed the point. “Offensive” misses the point. Face up to a mirror.

                      The West has shown that its Western Values include killing over 2M Muslims, the vast majority of them civilians, up to 1M of them children, since Gulf War 1.

                      This fact is invisible to most in the west but it is common knowledge (common experience) on the Arab street.

                      It is the West which has demonstrated over the last 20 years that civilians are fair targets, that the Geneva Convention does not need to be respected, that torture and inhumane treatment are valid approaches.

                    • Poission

                      th at the Geneva Convention does not need to be respected, that torture and inhumane treatment are valid approaches.

                      The Geneva convention does not hold for unbadged and non uniformed combatants

                    • It is the West which has demonstrated over the last 20 years that civilians are fair targets, that the Geneva Convention does not need to be respected, that torture and inhumane treatment are valid approaches.

                      It’s kind of hilarious that you can write that after elsewhere on the thread describing Gaddafi, Hussein and Assad as “moderate” leaders.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They’re way more moderate than Al Qaeda, ISIL, Al Nusra, etc. which replaced them, are they not?

                    • That’s what’s funny – by that relative scale of ‘moderateness’, governance in western countries is practically utopian.

            • Richard Christie

              Take an area. Bomb it to crap. Rip to shreds the institutional fabric of the society that’s located there. In essence create chaos; an environment that both encourages and favours the ascendancy of power that rides on violence.

              If it’s white skinned people who are doing that or who have done that,

              And up to that point I was sure you were referring to Assad.

          • Ennui

            I think your point may have rather laboured validity Matthew. What Kate says is plausible and probable. What is missing is an historic understanding of Wahabism. I suggest everybody Google it. What you will find is an extremely aggressive and dangerous sect who have a worldview that transcends anything the West or anybody else does to them. Bit like American Christian fundamentalism except more overtly nasty to apostates.

            • Grindlebottom

              ISIS and Al Qaeda are not just Sunni Wahabis like the Saudis, they’re Salafi jihadists. Salafi jihadism is a transnational religious-political ideology based on a belief in violent jihadism and the Salafi movement of returning to what adherents believe is traditional “true” Sunni Islam

              • Colonial Viper

                and its geographical, political, ideological and financial base is…Saudi Arabia. Although now it has spread far beyond.

                • Grindlebottom

                  Yes, you’re right CV. From Wikipedia:

                  Salafism is sponsored globally by Saudi Arabia and this ideology is used to justify the violent acts of Jihadi Salafi groups that include Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Al-Shabaab. In addition, Saudi Arabia prints textbooks for schools and universities to teach Salafisim as well as recruit international students from Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Africa and the Balkans to help spreading Salafisim in their local communities.

                  It suggests Salafists regard being called Wahabis as derogatory as well. Not surprising. The whole Islamic world Sunni & Shia seems riddled with sectarianism, far more than I realised.

                  • Ennui

                    Not only riddled with sectarianism but also tribalism. Also dont count out worldly materialism (most ISIL fighters are only as reliable as the next paycheck) and lust for power.

        • Whispering Kate

          Weka, I did say “if, and I say if this has been caused” etc etc

          I am well aware there is a lot to be revealed as to why this occurred and by whatever persons were responsible. But I would lay a bet that it will be a Middle Eastern group which has caused this tragedy and you know what the root causes are.

      • amy 1.1.2

        That is ignorance i am sorry. Are you aware of uighur fundamentalist terrorists from Xinjiang repeatedly doing same thing in China? No west involvement there. Same in Sichuan. This is a worldwide fight whose root cause is old Islam again more secular Islam.

        Did the west have any involvement in saddam repeated massacres of Kurt’s, of shite?

        • Grindlebottom

          Shiite, Amy. Shite means poo in Ireland and the UK.
          Have a read of these:

        • Colonial Viper

          That is ignorance i am sorry. Are you aware of uighur fundamentalist terrorists from Xinjiang repeatedly doing same thing in China? No west involvement there.

          China and Russia are well aware that the USA frequently uses Islamic militants and/or NGOs organising “colour revolutions” to destabilise enemy regimes.

          • amy

            Oh of course, I forgot, everything to some ignorant peope on this forum is false flag and us.

            No. My country of birth new China is evil government. They forced assimilation of uighurs and now many uighurs have huge resentment and divide as a result, with many welcoming their new wealth and many now alienated and seeing the answer in extreme Islamic fundamentalism. This is think is common thread throughout middle east also.

            Please have a holiday there and learn from the real world, not Wikipedia. You may then be able to make useful comment rather than one from ideological hatred.

            • Colonial Viper

              amy, the USA sees a powerful and united China as a primary threat to its unilateral desires.

              As in the Middle East, the US would love to see China and Russia destabilised and weakened by border conflicts and uprisings.

              You may then be able to make useful comment rather than one from ideological hatred

              Don’t treat me like an idiot and I won’t treat you like a moron.

              • amy

                You have zero knowledge of China I think. New China has an appalling history. Us attempts to destabilize it have failed consistently. In any case, in the matter of extreme Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in China, it has no part. The causes with the uighurs are clearly evident and the causes due to the evil policies of the government of China. Please think and learn rather than merely repeat paranoid hate that you read on the Web.

                And I am not aware of you treating me as a Moron, only aware of your appalling ignorance and blind hatred, something I have seen too much of in my life.

            • Draco T Bastard

              My country of birth new China is evil government. They forced assimilation of uighurs and now many uighurs have huge resentment and divide as a resultt, with many welcoming their new wealth and many now alienated and seeing the answer in extreme Islamic fundamentalism.

              So, what you’re saying is that some people in one group in China reacted the same way that some Islamists are reacting in the ME?

              This is think is common thread throughout middle east also.

              Yes, it is a common thread but you don’t seem to see it or perhaps you just don’t want to.

              That common thread is outside forces coming in and doing violence to a group with that group then retaliating.

              • Ennui

                Gents give Amy some credit. What she says about internal Chinese policies I saw myself in China. This is not binary however, there are external forces taking advantage such as the US. Too many internal and external malevolent competitive interests.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          root cause is old Islam against more secular Islam.

          Apologies if my edit gives the wrong meaning.

          In your subsequent remarks, you describe the treatment of Uighur by the Central Committee and the resentment they feel as a result. This is not a product of either old or secular Islam.

          Nor are drone strikes, for that matter. Nor the rivalry between Sunni and Shia.

          Nor is resource depletion.

          And yes, the West was involved with Saddam Hussein.

    • Bill 1.2

      It’s become a banal occurrence for bastards to justify using whatever power they have to randomly kill people.

      Some power accrues to bastards who rise up through cracks that open up when a country is bombed back to the stone age. Other bastards get power by being voted into office.

      I’m well over the whole fucking lot of them.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        I think that chaos allows sediment to rise as in the Christchurch earthquake, only this time its people. It’s an ugly mix of liquefaction and transmogrification so that erstwhile people become monstrous and carry out zombie actions from the darkest corners of their minds.

    • Nessalt 1.3

      so it’s moved from america deserving it to the west deserving it. you people truly are awful is there any point at which you stop apologizing for those who wish to do you harm? those who choose to make your life miserable for being nothing more than a citizen of your country going about your peaceful ways? france is hardly a leader in the war on terror and has large refugee, immigrant and muslim populations. Now it’s people are targets for being nothing more than citizens of a western nation that was the cradle of modern democracy and human rights.

      Shame on you for casting about with blame when you know nothing more than people are being killed.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.3.1


        • Richard Christie

          Shame on you for casting about with blame when you know nothing more than people are being killed.


          Or, you could treat it as intended – a working hypothesis for discussion, which is what is going on in here. Nobody is advocating retaliation or violent reaction.

          We’ll find out in due course.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        those who choose to make your life miserable for being nothing more than a citizen of your country going about your peaceful ways? france is hardly a leader in the war on terror and has large refugee, immigrant and muslim populations.

        Who do you think you are fucking kidding? “Peaceful ways”???

        Most westerners like yourself may be ignorant of what western governments have been doing to the Muslim world over the last few decades, but your ignorance does not excuse your support of governments who have exterminated 2 million or more Muslims since Gulf War 1.

        Re: the French. Study what France did to Algeria, numbskull.

        You right wingers are such historical idiots.

        • Nessalt

          not all of us are angry doctors taking to their keyboards to vent their frustration at life. most of us go about peacefully and do nice and kind things. somehow voting a certain way makes us evil and punishable for the actions of our government?

          Small wonder labour don’t a bar of you and don’t listen to you. your retarded

          • Colonial Viper

            your ignorance of the history of France is obvious. Idiot. The fact you then admit to voting with your ignorance is not a credit to you. Moron.

      • One Two 1.3.3

        ” france is hardly a leader in the war on terror”

        Illustrating how little you understand the reality of what you write. That or you are deliberately seeking to mislead (lie)

        Hooton appreciated the ‘lies’

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.4

        The only person who says they deserved it is you.

        Causes and reasons are not excuses, no matter how much wingnuts like to twist the narrative.

      • greywarshark 1.3.5

        Nessalt and Hooton
        Shame on you for emotional knee jerk reaction that puts you in the superior saint category in your own tiny minds.

      • Puddleglum 1.3.6

        Hi Nessalt,

        There’s two things getting mixed up here.

        The first is the (personal) moral responsibility for acts like this. Almost by definition, that must lie with the persons involved in committing these acts. That’s just what it means to hold individuals responsible for their actions (a social trick that has a long evolutionary history and was presumably adaptive given its universality in human collectives – in fact it’s probably closely associated with the evolutionary invention of persons).

        The second is the broader social and political actions that led to an environment in which numbers of individuals started to target Western and other countries associated with ant-Islamic sentiment and military action (this would include acts by China against its Muslim populations as amy alluded to).

        In the short term of course the perpetrators (and their supporting networks) should be targeted by police work and the broader groups that may be involved should also be targeted.

        But, over the longer term, the role of Western and other powers in creating the instability that has led to just the kind of environment that is an agar plate for these acts also needs to be addressed. it’s not that these developments and events are particularly surprising – they’ve happened countless times before in history under just these conditions.

        By the way, I think Matthew Hooton’s point about agency and autonomy is a red herring. ‘Autonomy’ and agency are products of external processes as much as anything else. None of us have the kind of ‘autonomy’ that can – like one of Daniel Dennet’s ‘sky hooks’ – magically provide us with a vantage point outside the world that allows us to ‘choose’.

        Our supposedly ‘autonomous’ decisions are products of the world. And even the conviction that we have a will that can exercise moral choices is itself a product of the world.

        The political task is to change the world – it is not to change individuals’ character, at least in the first instance (character changes as a consequence of changing the world).

        • Ennui

          Thanks P for answering this way; my thoughts but expressed more eloquently. Your response to Matthew on autonomy or agency demonstrates pretty clearly that Matthew is very Randist in terms of the individuals choice. Ultimately its got to be collective good that will cure the evils.

    • Caleb 1.4

      This behavior has been endemic in Africa and the ME long before the West was even a thing. There is no doubt the ‘West’ has its fair share of lunatics but it is certainly more enlightened and at least, strives for peace.

      • greywarshark 1.4.1

        The west strives for peace!! That’s an interesting point of view. What point are you looking from – seems you should claim to a higher hill and get a better overview.

      • RedLogix 1.4.2

        Caleb is right.

        We may be more conscious of our own history and actions, but it is a biased view of the world. The Middle East has being doing war, conflict and brutality long before us Westerners came on the scene. We don’t get taught about it in our schools or get told much about it in our news.

        And given that violent history it’s implausible to argue that the Middle East would have been a utopia of peace and good-will in the absence of the West’s undoubted meddling.

        The West has made many, many mistakes and blunders in recent times, and is beginning to pay the price for them now. But I am personally aware that Islamic extremism was very much alive in the East long before the West started catastrophic meddling. And that sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi’ite were always a fault line that would one day explode.

        So writing up history as being fundamentally all the West’s fault is – well has Matthew Hooten puts it – a denial of autonomy. The Islamic world was always perfectly capable of it’s own catastrophes.

        • Grindlebottom

          Yes that’s true. Mohammed even invented Islam as an attempt at ending the constant revenge killings among the Arab tribes.

          But Sunni and Shiia have been killing each other on and off ever since Mohammed died in 632 CE and his followers divided over who was his rightful successor – his father in law (the Sunnis) or his son in law (the Shia). The breakdown is roughly 80% Sunni, 20% Shia, with various sub-sects for both. And many of them have persecuted the sub-sects as heretics at various times.

    • lurgee 1.5

      there are some cultures who do not seem to be able to cope with “democracy”

      Good grief.

      • weka 1.5.1

        To be fair, the Americans do seem to be having a bit of trouble with it.

      • Whispering Kate 1.5.2

        So I suppose you would like to have a dictatorship foisted on you after enjoying generations of a “so called democracy”. And, your country invaded, bombed and ruined and not be a a tad bitter about it. Get a life please. We don’t know we are alive here in NZ and Lurgee, if you are not vigilant and aware of what’s going on you will end up living under the yoke of “democracy” all dressed up with smarm and lies and false civility and it will be upon us all without us even seeing it. There are other ways to have your freedom removed from you without overt over the top wrecking of a country. Half of this country population is asleep and hasn’t a clue what is going on.

        • ropata

          Elites across the western world have waged an audacious and successful class war, in the last 3 decades, completely unseen.
          Now the 0.01% rules the media, government, industry, and any remnants of collective action such as the public service or teachers unions are subjected to relentless attacks. We have been colonised by the commercialisation of everything

    • music4menz 1.6

      Despite the genuine expression of sympathy for the victims and families and the French people expressed in many of the comments posted here, Kate, I wonder whether the rapid desire to implicate ‘the governments of the West’ isn’t somewhat like diverting criticism of Hitler’s crimes and instead blaming them on the excesses of the Treaty of Versailles.

      The terrorists were most likely Islamist extremists. They killed some 160 innocent people. The terrorists and others involved in the planning of these heinous acts are responsible for their actions and no-one else.

  2. joe90 2

    The Bataclan would’ve been packed with youngsters.


    Disponible en :
    le vendredi 13/11/2015 à 19h30

    • Ad 2.1

      I’m still trying to figure how to turn The Eagles into Death Metal.
      You’d have to sing Just Another Tequila Sunrise reasonably fast.
      As for what they’d have to do with The New Girl In Town, gosh, it could make one hoarse.

  3. Grindlebottom 3

    Death toll’s still rising, up to four attacks being reported at the mo.

  4. maui 4

    Watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer is already linking the attacks to ISIS, although another reporter had to say that they don’t know yet. There are reports of an attacker saying that it was for Syria.

    France has closed its borders. Will there be more european countries shutting their doors now…

  5. Michael 5

    This is a tragedy.

    And if it turns out that an Islamic terrorist is behind this, I am seriously worried that 2 things could happen:
    a) public support for helping war-torn refugees will dry up
    b) support for nationalists and fascists like Marine Le Pen will increase

    • Grindlebottom 5.1

      Eyewitnesses reporting some were shouting Allahu akbar, according to Al Jazeera tv which is live broadcasting interviews and updates.

      I agree with your (a) and (b). I think it’s inevitable. There’ll probably be even closer monitoring of local muslim communities by security services and police too. Which tends to increase the likelihood of further internal extremist attacks by aggrieved and alienated young men and women.

    • joe90 5.2

      My concern – a replay of the excesses of the sixties.

      On 5 October 1961, the prefecture of police, whose chief was Maurice Papon, announced in a press statement the introduction of a curfew from 8.30 p.m. to 5.30 a.m. in Paris and its suburbs for “Algerian Muslim workers”, “French Muslims” and “French Muslims of Algeria” (all three terms used by Papon, although the approximately 150,000 Algerians living at the time in Paris were officially considered French and possessed a French identity card).


      “During the night, a massacre took place in the courtyard of the police headquarters, killing tens of victims. In the Palais des Sports, then in the “Palais des Expositions of Porte de Versailles”, detained Algerians, many by now already injured, [became] systematic victims of a ‘welcoming committee’. In these places, considerable violence took place and prisoners were tortured. Men would be dying there until the end of the week. Similar scenes took place in the Coubertin stadium… The raids, violence and drownings would be continued over the following days. For several weeks, unidentified corpses were discovered along the banks of the river. The result of the massacre may be estimated to at least 200 dead.

    • b) support for nationalists and fascists like Marine Le Pen will increase

      It will. But then, if there’s only one party that’s promising to do something useful about a serious problem, that party will attract support. Instead of sitting around whinging about it, other parties might consider coming up with useful proposals of their own.

      • lurgee 5.3.1

        You confuse ‘bigoted FN raving’ with ‘useful proposals.’

        • McFlock


          Taking FN policies would be like throwing petrol on the fire.

        • Psycho Milt

          Wanting to stop mass immigration by adherents of a totalitarian ideology isn’t ‘bigoted raving,’ it’s ‘proposing to do something about a big problem the other parties won’t even acknowledge.’ This is why increasing numbers of French voters who aren’t nationalist authoritarians are backing a nationalist authoritarian party. If the parties of the left in France want to do something about it, they’d better start acknowledging the problem and thinking up something to do about it, before France ends up with a nationalist authoritarian government that’s keen on rolling back the EU and forging closer ties with Putin’s government.

        • Michael


      • Dave_1924 5.3.2

        Exactly PM…… exactly.

  6. Tim 6

    Absolutely fucking horrible. The problem is religion, Islam in particular here is causing this horrible result but Judaism and Christianity equally nonsensical. Assuming ISIS is behind this, these people launched these attacks thinking they were doing right by their religion, right by their religious leaders and they going to heaven for it.

    The big question is: what do we do about it?

    • Bill 6.1

      The problem isn’t religion, it’s power – those who have it and how they choose to exercise it.

      Religion is just a convenient vehicle – an excuse.

      • Ergo Robertina 6.1.1

        ”Religion is just a convenient vehicle – an excuse.”
        ” In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.
        He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.
        When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.
        “I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.”

        • weka

          Many rapists have similar abhorrent justifications for their violence not just fundamentalists misusing religion. The common denominator isn’t religion (although there are plenty of self serving perversions of religion) it’s power and the belief in dominance as a right.

          • McFlock

            I read an article recently about the problem of Afghan Local Police officers sexually abusing boys – a couple of US special forces operators got disciplined for beating up one ALP chief (severity debated) after US command refused to get involved.

            The justification for a policy of not getting involved was that it was a cultural norm.

            Actually, a powerful argument was made that it was not a cultural norm, rather it was a longstanding practise of powerful men abusing their power in ways that were actually abhorrent to the local community. Jimmy Saville territory.

        • One Two

          Examples can be found, and indeed invented to match any narrative

          Religion is being used as both an excuse, and the villain

          • Ergo Robertina

            Codified rape is not an isolated case or ”example”, and it is psychopathy that doesn’t exist in isolation.
            Are you seriously suggesting it may have been invented by the CIA or something?
            You do realise that the biggest group of victims of ISIS is Muslim?
            Every culture and group uses narratives to explain themselves, but what’s your point?

            • McFlock

              And Muslims were victims of non-Muslims in Bosnia.
              And Tutsis were victims of Hutus.
              And Korean and Chinese women were forced into “comfort stations” for imperial japanese troops in the 1930s and 40s.

              The point is that Islam, like most major religions, does not seem to codify systematic rape as a weapon.

              However, some extremists use whatever excuse they can come up with to use rape as a tool to destroy cultural and social cohesion, and as rewards and incentives for soldiers. These excuses often include selective passages from religious and cultural histories.

              Inb the case of ISIS, as Bill said, religion is a convenient vehicle, this time.

              • Ergo Robertina

                I meant Isis, not Islam as a whole.

              • RedLogix

                Or as a friend of mine once put it, “Polish women got raped by German soldiers heading East, and Russian ones heading back West. We hated them both”.

                No there is nothing much new about rape in war, but for the most part it was deemed shameful. ISIS however has added on the peculiar horror of making a virtue of it.

      • lurgee 6.1.2

        It’s like the old claim that horror films cause violence and depravity. it’s simplistic to say a religion is a cause. That thesis involves overlooking all the other factors that contribute – the broken, hopeless failed states that litter the Middle East being a massive contributing factor that has nothing much to do with religion.

        At most, Islam gives people a common cause and direction, just like a violent film might give someone already predisposed to sadism and violence a novel idea for expressing their ghastliness.

        It also provides the weak-willed with an excuse for going along with atrocity, rather like certain European countries in the 1930s. And fighting a Holy War has to be more appealing than trying to scrape a living in some state wrecked by war and corruption and Western or non-Western bastarding stupidity.

    • Matthew Hooton 6.2


      • Grindlebottom 6.2.1

        The problem isn’t religion, it’s power – those who have it and how they choose to exercise it. Religion is just a convenient vehicle – an excuse.

        That’s partly true Bill but Islamic expansionism is a religious objective & worldview of many fundamentalists as well. It’s justified & advocated in the Quran and Hadiths, exampled by Mohammed, the perfect man. Allied to growing anti-Western sentiment it’s become a very powerful movement.

        It doesn’t mean all muslims are fundamentalists, obviously, or they wouldn’t be fleeing to the West in such huge numbers, seeking peaceful lives. But that’s going to bring its own problems because of cultural and religious clashes I expect.

        • maui

          Then we have US and Israeli expansionism which has suggested support from large swathes of western society, and has far more destructive and deadly outcomes on millions of people.

          • red-blooded

            Of course, these are also countries which profess to live and conduct their affairs according to religious teachings. Let’s remember that the original comment was not about one religion, it was about the nature of religion and the way it can encourage the view that there’s only one way to see the world and that non-believers are of lesser worth.

    • maui 6.3

      Instead of painting a whole religion as the problem where that is clearly wrong, have you put any thought into Frances involvement in Syria and the middle east? France was bombing Syria only six weeks ago.

      • Grindlebottom 6.3.1

        Yes of course. At least one of the attackers is reported as yelling out “it’s for Syria”.

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.2

        Have you put any thought into how that would be relevant? If I was living in Indonesia and decided that the Indonesian government’s treatment of people in West Papua was so outrageous I felt an urgent need to go out and randomly murder Indonesians in Jakarta, to what extent would the Indonesian government be to blame for my actions? Hint: the figure is 0%.

  7. Tory 7

    This is a tragedy for Parasians, like many Kiwis we have family living in Europe and the innocents have no right to be caught up in this type of violence. This goes for all those caught up in terrorism or war. Comments on this site (or others) that immediately look to lay blame or justify actions of those doing the killing are an unfortunate inditement of how this is not going to go away.

    • Grindlebottom 7.1

      You overlook the fact that Western air attacks invariably kill plenty of innocent civilians (“collateral damage”) in these terrorists’ countries. The numbers never get added up and regularly reported in our media. It makes it easy to justify killing innocent people in reprisal in Western countries. And Russians, that aircraft probably was brought down by a bomb.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      The sole purpose of this kind of terrorism is to provoke the West into a full-scale war with Islam. Period. Because these ISIS extremists believe God is on their side they believe they will win such a war, and they will continue to escalate the terror until they get what they want and suffer 100% losses to achieve it.

      What they want is an absolute global Caliphate and the extermination of anyone who opposes them. There is are strong parallels with the history I linked to above.

      The Western world now has few choices.

      1. Continue to absorb increasing losses from suicidal terrorists and hope that one day it will all stop

      2. Admit that the West is evil, that Muhammad is the final Prophet of God and invite ISIS to peacefully establish a permanent Caliphate to rule over us all

      3. Exterminate every single Muslim on the face of the earth, because ultimately you cannot tell the difference between a moderate and an extremist

      4. Point out to all moderate Muslims that it is in their very real existential interests to sort out their own extremists

      5. Stop buying all oil from the Middle East and economically embargo the entire region.

      Ponder these choices for a moment. If there is an obvious one I’ve left out, please let me know. Of course in the real world, history will turn out different to any single one of these hypothetical choices. It will likely be some ugly mix of all five.

      Most wars are fought between powers driven by ultimately rational interests. At some point one side fights to a standstill and negotiates terms based on military and material position they now face.

      However ISIS is not bound by rational material or military interests as we ordinarily understand them. The suicide fighter welcome his death as a glorious martyrdom, a crowning achievement the likes of which he or she could never hope for in life. Their military strategy is chaos, knowing that this will does the real fighting for them. Even if every single ISIS fighter and follower alive today, is dead in just a years time – they will count on the consequences winning victory for them.

      If you think this extreme, consider how the Americans inflicted such an immense blow to their own civil liberties in the aftermath of 911. A far greater victory than any conventional military action bin Laden might have launched. So when we consider the potential future paths I list above – and their probable consequences – it is certain that none of us will emerge unscathed in the coming decades.

      Whether this latest horror proves to be the tipping point no-one can yet say. But these things are cumulative. Sooner or later we will be forced into some brutal choices.

      • One Two 8.1.1

        6. Arrest and incarcerate those (directly and indirectly) responsible for funding and arming [name ‘manufactured terror’ entity here]

        • RedLogix

          I understand that it’s a big, dark and complicated world. That us ordinary people rarely get shown the whole picture and we’re left to guess what may have really happened quite a lot of the time.

          Secrecy is indeed one of the weapons most effectively and frequently used to ensure we believe wrong ideas. For this reason I rarely hold to a fact with absolute conviction. There is always something you do not know and it’s wise to leave some space for this.

          But from everything we have seen in the past year or so, I’d place a >95% probability that ISIS is the real deal. It’s the zealots again.

          Besides they are exceedingly well-funded and armed already. But arms is not what they;need very much of. Just enough to bully the locals in their home territory and mow down French kids in a crowded music concert.

          • Colonial Viper

            all you need to do RL is look at where militant fundamentalist Wahabism (which has now mutated into Takfiri jihadism) came from.

            Who funded it, gave political cover to it, trained it, exported it.

            It is a matter of public record who transported, trained and equipped the people who eventually became the leaders of Al Qaeda, in insurgency and guerrilla warfare tactics for use in a proxy war against another superpower.

            And today, we have a NATO member (Turkey) who has been given tacit permission by Western leaders to financially, militarily and logistically support ISIS and other jihadists in Syria, with the purpose of getting rid of Assad.

            So to answer your question – what is the West (i.e. the western leadership 0.001% elite) going to do now?

            My bet is that they are going to double down on the recipe which has brought us to this current shit state: more Global War Against Terror, more Regime Change, more Mass Surveillance, more Internal Security/Police State.

            • RedLogix

              Wahhabism is named after an 18th century preacher and has been part of the Saudi political scene for over 150 years. Certainly the immense flood of petrodollars into the regime saw it grow in influence.

              I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Middle Eastern history, but one thing I can assure you personally (and not because I’m trying to score a point over you here CV) is that Islamic fundamentalism and it’s attendant brutality was most certainly NOT a Western invention. It pre-dates us by a very long time.

              Has our intervention made things worse? Of course. That was eminently obvious and predictable when my partner and I marched down Lambton Quay in 2002 protesting GW Bush’s imminent invasion of Iraq.

              That Al Qaeda would go rogue on it’s puppet masters was an equally obvious development. Is it likely there are dark actors, plotting and spinning webs of intrigue, gaming and deceiving us? Highly likely – but we will never know for certain.

              But none of this takes away from one fact. That Muslims are not idiot children devoid of their own agency. They too have played their part in this unfolding nightmare.

              Yes you are right – for now the global elite will double down. But as I was trying to allude to above, ultimately all of these strategies will come with consequences. And there will come a point where the fear of those consequences will overcome their hand.

              You do remember the story of the Magician’s Apprentice?

              • Colonial Viper

                Ah yes, some lessons in that tale.

                One more thing to remember is that the Western elite have killed, or allowed to be killed, several generations of moderate or secular Middle East leaders.

                Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, all leaders of strong, secular, socialist states.

                That’s not even going back in history to democratic Middle East leaders like Mosaddegh who were fucked over by the USA.

                The west wanted all of them gone. Who is replacing them? Sectarian, Islamist players.

                • RedLogix

                  I’ll not quibble too much with most of your argument there. Except to note that the leaders you note were more in the nature of ‘strong men’ than just strong. Life was ok if you didn’t attract the wrong attention and you didn’t rock the boat. But if you did life became suddenly a lot less pleasant.

                  And on that note let me hint broadly that I have first hand experience of this.

                  And as with all strong man leaders, while they may create a superficially stable and functioning society, it rarely survives long after their demise. The social fault lines so long, and so brutally suppressed are no longer contained – and chaos ensues.

                  PS My mistake above .. it’s the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

                  • Colonial Viper


                    And now in Europe, and in the next few years in the USA, I think more societal fault lines are going to become apparent.

              • Matthew Hooton

                “But none of this takes away from one fact. That Muslims are not idiot children devoid of their own agency. They too have played their part in this unfolding nightmare.”

                Well put. This is exactly what I was trying to say above. You have said it better.

  8. joe90 9

    The Telegraph Verified account

    #Paris: Two terrorists reportedly killed as security forces operation continues at Bataclan


  9. Grindlebottom 10

    Heck. Al Jazeera on screen banner “french police, hostage siege at concert hall ends, 100 feared dead.” They’re saying this is just at the concert hall.

  10. joe90 11

    Remembering Ahmed Merabet.

    Peter Jukes

    And before the bigots start: watch TV. See how many of the French security forces defending Paris are Algerian in origin. Then shut up

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    I wonder why mass surveillance NSA spying didn’t alert the Americans to this plot ahead of time /sarc

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Perhaps because it isn’t as ubiquitous and all-seeing as you believe.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1


        Bill Binney already described why the NSA approach is an utter failure: it bogs down analysts in too much useless and irrelevant data captured off ordinary people.

  12. mary_a 13

    My sympathy to the french people, at what must be a terrifying time for them, not knowing where the next attack will come from, or when it could happen.

    No good placing blame at present, until there is more clarification of the situation.

  13. Facetious 14

    Angela Merkel will be in deep trouble after today. The law of unintended consequences.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Why, what did she do? Bomb a wedding?

      • sabine 14.1.1

        no, but she did not order the german army to go to the frontier and just shoot all those pesky people coming in from the middle east.

        cause ….insert what ever fucking reason on of this rightwing scared little boys could come up with .

        that is the thing about the rightwing that gets me every single time, they are so full of fear….they fear their own shadow.

  14. vaughan little 15

    by targeting a metal concert i’d say they were killing a fair number of people who would share many sympathies if indeed the terrorists were staging a reprisal for France’s recent interventions in the middle east.

    the cleanest terrorist action i can think of was the IRA killing of 13 British operatives on the eve of their infiltration into Ireland, masterminded by Michael Collins.

    “The French” are not a legitimate target.

  15. sabine 16

    It reminds me of this

    history repeating itself. Humanity to stupid to learn.

  16. tracey 19

    Taleban… then Al Qaeda then ISIS

    Whatever “we” are doing isnt really working… Perhaps “we” need a different approach? Ideas?

    Too many civillians dying all over the world as victims f others power and powerlessness.

    • Grindlebottom 19.1

      It’s not just something “we” in the West have done or are doing, Tracey.

      Hindu extremism is noticeably on the rise in India. Targeting Christians and Muslims. I watched a documentary on Al Jazeera a couple of weeks ago showing a Hindu extremist training camp. Looked just like Islamic extremist training camps, except they lacked guns and were being trained in how to defend themselves and beat people up with sticks. There are complaints that the Indian PM Narendra Modi supports Hindu extremism.

      Bhuddist extremism is also a growing problem in Myanmar, targeting mainly Muslims.

      It’s all tied up with ethnicity and nationalism, access to power and resources as well.

      • tracey 19.1.1

        “we” was meant to refer to everyone who wants the senseless killing of innocent people ended Grindlebottom, which includes the majority of muslims and others who do not ascribe to the killin gtheir extreme fringes do.

        Anger and hate haven’t worked to resolve that single issue, the taking of innocent lives by those who have no power and thse who want to retain it… and that knows no ideological or colour or religious bar

        • Grindlebottom

          Sorry, I misinterpreted your meaning. I don’t have an answer I’m afraid. I’m an atheist. If there were no religions that’d be one less factor people could use to excuse or justify bad behaviour towards others of a different view or belief set. But we’d still be left with nationalism, ethnicity, class divisions, wealth disparities, land and resource allocations, and all the other things people in power have used throughout history to get people to hate each other or try to take from someone else.

          We’ve tried coming up with a Universal Declaration of Human Rights but it’s been useless as a solution to all these ills.

          • RedLogix

            Eliminating religion, race, nationality, class, culture and race would still not prevent this from happening. People don’t need any real excuse for ‘othering’.

            The smallest of imagined slights or differences will do.

  17. Adrian 20

    The roots of these attacks in Paris are probably in the extreme poverty and hopelessness among the bored, pissed off, jobless and disinfrancised young in the satelite towns around Paris. They are generally Muslim and mostly French citizens by birth but unemployment and cost of living makes life bloody difficult.
    They are rich ground for manipulation.
    The quite surprising point not to be missed is that the manipulators could only find 8 or so to be so extreme.
    This is the one glimmer of hope.
    My sympathies to all of those Parisians hurt and traumatised by this stupidity.

  18. Visubversa 21

    As a woman, a feminist, a lesbian and an anti-theist I despise these people and everything they stand for. However, as someone with an interest in history and social justice I can see that until there justice for the Palestinians, this mess has no chance of any resolution. That is where the root cause is found and everything else has built up from there.

    • Grindlebottom 21.1

      I don’t think so. Palestinians are seeking the destruction of Israel (Hamas) or the establishment of a Palestinian state (Fatah, which signed the Oslo Accords). Probably most Palestinians would settle for Israel actually living up the accords, stopping the expansion of settlements and forced occupations of Palestinian lands and properties, and setting up of some sort of state, but that’s not going to happen as long as Hamas keeps attacking Israel and giving Israel the excuse to carry on repressing and ripping them off, so the whole thing always looks hopeless.

      Islamists in various countries including Syria, Tripoli, Egypt, Iraq, Afghnistan, etc are generally seeking an Islamic Republic type state under Sharia Law within their current borders.

      ISIL/daesh is seeking a global caliphate.

      They all have separate origins, objectives and identities though most I imagine would sympathise with the Palestinians.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        Palestinians are seeking the destruction of Israel (Hamas)

        That’s been official Hamas policy yes, but that mirrors Likud policy which doesn’t recognise any right for the past, present or future existence of Palestine.

        • Grindlebottom

          Yep, correct CV. Both sides refuse to recognise the right of the other’s state to exist. It makes the situation hopeless. But the Palestinians are the worst off. Their chances of ever getting a state are steadily being eroded by expanding settlements. They have no hope of resisting the crushing might of Israel. There is no unitary state possible any more. There are only bantustans.

    • Matthew Hooton 21.2

      I don’t think Al Qaeda or Daesh have shown much interest in Palestinian issue at all. Bin Laden mentioned the Palestinians a few times but only as a tactical move. Daesh’s goal is far more ambitious than the mere destruction of Israel.

  19. I don’t get how at least 10 people can get together get armed with bombs and AK47s etc, in the country with strict gun laws, plan and carry out this sort of thing (140+ deaths?), without someone saying something, is this a poke in the eye for 5 eyes? or was 5 eyes used to ‘open a few doors’ as it were. to allow something most would say even the CIA couldn’t pull off?
    ISIS my ARSSIS I think they have enough on their plate with Russia bombing them, to have anything to do with this?
    My 2c

    • sabine 22.1

      You really believe that 5 eyes was created to catch terrorists?

      And it has happened before, the Moscow Theater Hostage (chechen rebels) Crisis in 2002 is eerily similar.

      • Grindlebottom 22.1.1

        It doesn’t need to be ISIS Robert. Could be a group of home-grown radicalised Islamists like the Charlie Hebdo attackers. ISIS may well claim it of course. It would serve their interests to do so. Encouraging other attackers elsewhere than Iraq or Syria isn’t taxing for them. Still, you pose some interesting questions that many will be seeking answers to.

    • RedLogix 22.2


      Reasonable questions. Us ordinary people will never know for certain.

      But fact of the attacks being carried out by terrorists, clearly knowing they will die, is a pretty reliable clue that these people are the real deal. No-one does a suicide attack for something they do not really believe in.

      Your killers don’t need training or much preparation. All you need is a plentiful, self-newing supply of radicalised young men who are previously unknown to police or security forces.

      An attack like this does not need to be very sophisticated. Only one person needs to know any details in advance, the others are merely ‘lined up’ as it were. Get them on the move, take away their cell-phones, give them arms, ammo and walk them into the target. No need for any complicated get-away, or cover-up. Just pull trigger until you run out of ammo or bodies to shoot at.

      Police around the world regard these kinds of attacks as nightmare scenarios, that even under current public surveillance and security settings are almost impossible to predict or prevent.

      Of course now it is way too soon to know the truth; but for now I imagine the answer to your questions is something like this.

      • Colonial Viper 22.2.1

        Your killers don’t need training or much preparation.

        You are right of course.

        However, tens of thousands of European and Russian Muslims now have battlefield military experience with Daesh in Iraq and Syria, conducting operations planned by former Saddam military officers. (You have to ask why European governments allowed this to happen – just to get rid of Assad?)

        So there is no shortage of experienced and skilled operators for terrorist groups today.

        NB this is one reason that Russia has intervened in Syria. They are determined not to let these battle hardened fighters filter back to Chechnya and the Caucuses to cause trouble there.

        • RedLogix

          Yes it is way too soon to know whether this is the work of French citizens (Charlie Hebdo?) or experienced fighters who’ve arrived in France undetected within the week or so prior.

          On reflection I’d be inclined to think maybe the latter. Either way the security forces would be very unlikely to pick them, especially if they avoided any electronic communications, used cash and avoided any existing known networks.

          • Grindlebottom

            That’s going to be one of the most pressing questions RL. Locals or foreign infiltrators. That’ll probably be known in a day or two.

        • McFlock

          So Western intervention in Syria is a cause of attacks in the West, but Russian intervention will minimise attacks in Russian-backed areas?

    • ropata 22.3

      The BBC reports that the attackers claimed solidarity with Syria. Unlikely to be related to Palestine, horrible as that situation is also.

      The deadliest attack of the night came in the 11th district in Boulevard Voltaire where several gunmen raided a well known concert venue where Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was playing. The 1,500-seat hall was sold out.

      Reports said the attackers had stormed the hall, shooting in the air. One of the attackers was said to have shouted “God is great” in Arabic. One witness heard a gunman blaming President Hollande for intervening in Syria. It was the first clear evidence that Paris was once again being targeted by Islamists.

      • Psycho Milt 22.3.1

        One of the attackers was said to have shouted “God is great” in Arabic.

        I was just saying the other day, it feels weird now to see an explosion on the TV news that doesn’t feature some imbecile bellowing “Allahu akbar!” at it. If you’re not a Muslim, Allah is like the god of explosions or something. “Allahu akbar!” is like a modern equivalent of skinheads shouting “Oi oi fuckin’ oi!” while kicking someone’s head in.

  20. Neil 23

    Unfortunately Key will use this for his own political gain.

    • Kimble 23.1


      Yes, of course he will.

      He will condemn the attacks and express sympathy for the victims.

      On the other side of the divide, Labour will condemn the attacks and express sympathy for the victims, and what… if this thread is any indication they will also try and say that France brought it on themselves. Handing Key another victory.

      You can’t complain that Key keeps winning when it only happens because YOUR guys keep shooting themselves in the testicles.

      • Gangnam Style 23.1.1

        This RWNJ comes with its own canned laughter.

        • Kimble

          And that is why Labour will lose and keep losing.

          Someone points out that Key ISN’T a political genius and is just going through the motions, and that Labour keeps doing things to make THEMSELVES unelectable, and you call it a right wing theory.

    • ropata 23.2

      Yes Key is sure to make a bumbling bloody fuckup of this tragedy and entangle Kiwi soldiers in foreign oil wars.

  21. Kimble 24

    If only the terrorists were Jews.

    Maybe then the bulk of the Left would consider terrorist perpetrators to be culpable for their actions.

    • mickysavage 24.1

      You are making no freaking sense there Kimble.

      • Kimble 24.1.1


        The Left considers everything Israel does to be a crime, and blames every conflict in the region on them.

        If the terrorists were Jews, even the UN might consider there to be a problem.

        • weka

          Still not making any sense. Most people on the left think that terrorists are culpable for their actions. They just have a broader, more nuanced analysis of the situation and solutions than “let’s kill the Muslims”.

        • McFlock

          The Left considers everything Israel does to be a crime, and blames every conflict in the region on them.

          Oh, bollocks.

        • Grindlebottom

          You’re just making the common error of thinking “the left” is a single identifiable group whose opinions on all matters are the same Kimble. That’s no more true than similar claims sometimes made here about “the right”.

  22. millsy 25

    Here we go…more clampdowns on civil liberties and booga booga about ‘terrorism’. Not to mention the war drums.

    Same shit different day for the past 14 years.

    • …booga booga about ‘terrorism’.

      Yeah, what are they? Just a few coordinated attacks killing dozens of people, and they’re squawking about “terrorism.” Now, when I were a lad…

      • RedLogix 25.1.1

        And for the moment, the French media are doing their best to deliver the terrorists exactly what they wanted.

        The anger and rage are so understandable. A dangerous 24hrs ahead of us perhaps.

        • Poission

          Russia which is undoubtedly preparing its retaliation response,will be less constrained.

        • Psycho Milt

          This time, it’s war

          So, they’ve woken up, then? It’s like only noticing after the third break-in that you’ve had burglars.

          • RedLogix

            Fair enough … but a war against what exactly?

            • Psycho Milt

              First and foremost, against people in France who think killing large numbers of French people is a great idea. Secondary to that, the ideology involved. If the killers were ordinary neo-nazis, no-one on this thread would have the slightest doubt about the need for strenuous opposition to the ideology concerned – but because it’s dressed up as a religion, we pussy-foot around it. Fuck that – this ideology is inimical to enlightenment values and needs to be opposed.

              • weka

                “but because it’s dressed up as a religion, we pussy-foot around it”

                That’s not it at all. It’s because Islam is a broad range of beliefs and too many people confuse the fundamentalism/terrorism beliefs with the religion as a whole.

                • That’s like saying too many people confused the activities of the Bolsheviks or Sendoro Luminoso with Marxism as a whole. There’s no point in pretending that there isn’t a problem with the underlying ideology.

                  • weka

                    No idea what your reference is. I think there is a massive problem with underlying ideology. The ideology of the warmongers (on all sides), and the ideology of those parts of the culture that value violence and dominance. That’s not unique to Islam, or religion.

                    • They’re not unique to fascism either, but we don’t have any problem filing fascism under Do Not Want, because the underlying ideology is against our principles. The same should be applied to Islam, but won’t be, even after this.

              • RedLogix

                Yes – but if WAS neo-nazi’s we were talking about here, it would be the gendarmerie doing the work – not the Air Force doing bombing runs in Dassaults.

                These terrorist are vile criminals, and unlike a few people here, I’m of no mood to make any excuse for their crimes. It is policemen who catch criminals, or in this case, the big crims who organised them. I cheer them on.

                Warfare has another character altogether, and when you choose war then in order to win it – you have to know exactly what winning will look like. To do that you need to define your target. What battles to win and what will be required to force your target to surrender or extermination. Otherwise you cannot win.

                So again I ask – a war against what exactly?

                • There’s more than one way to fight a war, and obviously in this case there’s no place for regular military operations. This one has a police element, against what is effectively organised crime (ie similar to the war against the mafia and similarly difficult to win), and an ideological element, in which the first step is recognising a hostile ideology and attempting to eradicate it from public life. What “victory” would look like is up to French Muslims, but it has to involve Islam having no accepted place in Europe.

              • Colonial Viper

                “Fuck that – this ideology is inimical to enlightenment values and needs to be opposed.”

                Yes, lets see the West demonstrate more of its “enlightenment values” in action in Africa and the Middle East. Drone strikes? Colonial occupation? DE shells? Feeding foreign Islamists with money and arms? Black site interrogations?

                • RedLogix

                  Well CV – all those things you list are what describe a ‘police action against organised criminals operating on a large scale’. This is not the first Islamic terrorist act the West has been dealt, and it is unlikely the last.

                  In purely pragmatic terms eventually restraint will no longer be an option. As you said earlier, the elites and politicians will double down.

                  PM by contrast defines Islam as a ‘hostile ideology’ to be eradicated from public life. If Islam was merely a social oddity – like for example nudism (and I’m not attempting any kind of comparison here) – then we might reasonably constrain it’s practise to private life and places where the kiddies aren’t going to be traumatised by it.

                  But Islam is an entire way of life and outlook. It is not possible to constrain it in the same way, without dismantling the human rights of the believer. Targeting Islam as an ideology is the same as targeting the believer as a person.

                  Saying you want to eradicate Islam from public life, or that you want to exterminate 1.6 billion Muslims from the face of the planet – are two statements with not a lot of space between them.

                  And if in our bloodiest nightmares we found ourselves entangled in such an existential struggle, and even if we actually succeeded in such a desperate enterprise – we could never emerge unscathed. Even if we had a magic button to press, that achieved it at no material cost to us, what monster could do it? Yes we might eradicate Islam physically, but eradicate ourselves morally at the same time.

                  The goal of all terrorist action is to defeat the enemy – not by military means – but to provoke and polarise them into an response they cannot sustain morally. At present only a tiny minority of Muslims in the world are extremists, but an escalating series of atrocities from both sides would soon change this.

                  Fear of the consequences will be the turning point. Between CV’s capitulation and PM’s genocide there must be another path. And it seems only those driven by despair and disillusion willingly chose it.

                  • Saying you want to eradicate Islam from public life, or that you want to exterminate 1.6 billion Muslims from the face of the planet – are two statements with not a lot of space between them.

                    That’s ridiculous. For one thing, “making a particular ideology unacceptable in polite company” and “genocide” have a yawning chasm between them. For another, western democracies can only eradicate Islam from public life in western democracies, which are not where 1.6 billion Muslims live.

                    But Islam is an entire way of life and outlook.

                    That’s exactly the problem – it’s an entire way of life and outlook that’s incompatible with the values western democracies are based on. Allowing mass immigration by adherents of it was, in hindsight, incredibly stupid.

                    Targeting Islam as an ideology is the same as targeting the believer as a person.

                    The same could be said for targeting fascism or communism as an ideology, which we’ve done consistently for a long time now and civilisation hasn’t come to an end.

  23. b waghorn 26

    I think its time to give Isis what they seem to want, the rest of the world needs to stop pissing around and go stomp them into the dust.

    • One Two 26.1

      That suggestion would represent the worst possible reaction

      How many dead humans and destroyed lives do you believe it might take to “stomp them into the dust” ?

      What outcome might you have imagined as you offered your thoughts ?

      • b waghorn 26.1.1

        The cold hard facts are that humans in general aren’t capable of getting along ,and until the UN becomes a true force for controlling the worst aspects of human behaviour instead of being the toothless dog it is , this shit is going to become more common.
        Only when we all as a species are sick of bleeding will we move forward.

        • One Two

          Your ‘facts’ are incorrect , as is your desire for the UN “to become a true force for controlling the worst aspects of human behaviour…”

          The final sentence indicates you are capable of deeper thought

          @ Ropata – No, more force is not the only recourse left. Its the only tactic going around

          • ropata

            In this case we have a growing evil that demands to be excised, yes there will be a human cost, but not as great as the cost of doing nothing.

            • One Two

              Violence ,will never conquer violence and suggesting that should be the response is illogical. The cycle of violence will only end when human beings have extincted themselves, following your tactical nous

              Consequence of doing nothing is unknown, because violence is the default response and is the core business of warmongers who profit from death

              Only peace could end the cycle of violence with beneficial outcomes for wider humanity

              Peace, is not what the profiteers care about

              • ropata

                The consequence of doing nothing is ISIS continuing to murder and rape and torture innocents, and tidal waves of refugees trying to escape, and the rise of a reprehensible perversion of Islam that is repugnant even to Al Qaeda.

                Doing nothing is encouraging the growth of this cancer on humanity

                • Colonial Viper

                  how about doing something like having the western powers stop fellow NATO member Turkey from allowing ISIS fighters and materiels flow across their border like water. As well as allowing the transport of ISIS oil.

                  That seems easy, right?

                  Yet Turkey has continued its unofficial policies for the last several years. Why has this been allowed? Because the Western powers have been hoping that ISIS would finish Assad for them.

                • One Two

                  Mujahideen Freedom Fighters —-> Al Qaeda —–> Al Nusra —–> khorasan—–> ISIS —->[next creation here]

                  Perpetual war against the creations of the racketeers business model

                  The consequence of more violence is perpetual rape and murder so your reasoning is flawed

                  You know it is

                  • Colonial Viper

                    its exactly what Pepe Escobar terms “the Empire of Chaos” wants in order to consolidate its own strategic superiority.

          • b waghorn

            Nice condescending tone there one two.
            Tell me can you think of any extended period in the last 200 years when one lot weren’t killing another lot somewhere.
            Letting countries like the US and Russia make up the rules and have pissing competitions at the expense of civilians is insanity , there needs to be an autonomous force that can surgically remove issues like Isis.
            7 billion people and climbing means we can’t keep doing the same shit expecting a different outcome.

            • One Two

              It as actually written as a compliment

              7 billion people and climbing means we can’t keep doing the same shit expecting a different outcome.

              Surely you don’t imagine the UN could operate benevolent entity functioning as an independent arbitrator ?

              That will never be tolerated by the schemers

              • b waghorn

                The vetos rights have to go its one of the few things this government has said that I agree with .

                • One Two

                  FYI – The UN was funded and founded by the Rockefeller empire from the ashes of the failed League of Nations

                  Power will never relinquish power and while that leaves people clutching at hope and straws, such as the UN sans veto, is little more than wishful thinking

                  The type of world we imagine living as part of is not possible without the people taking back control in local, community minded social structures

                  Monolithic entities like the EU, NATO, UN are part of the problem, not the solution

      • ropata 26.1.2

        It’s a pretty normal human reaction to a pack of thugs raping and pillaging and rampaging over formerly civilised lands. Sometimes force is the only recourse left to defend life and liberty. Of all the crazed, evil regimes on Earth at the moment, Isis is the worst.

        • Mike the Savage One

          If nobody had stopped Hitler and the Japanese nationalists in WW2, we would probably be commenting in Japanese and German here, if that would in such a scenario even be allowed though.

          I agree, there are times and situations, where force is the only answer, but it must be done carefully and appropriately, as otherwise we will only create a greater mess.

      • Wayne 26.1.3

        So long as ISIS has control of a proto-state in Iraq and Syria, it can recruit, train and support terrorism. In my view the logical thing is to ensure that ISIS does not have such a base.

        That means defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I have been of this view for quite some time. It will at least require a major special forces effort from Western nations (and now Russia) to support the the forces of the Iraq govt, the Kurds, and if the Russians have their way, the Syrian govt.

        This will result in large numbers of ISIS fighters being captured. Most will be local people. I imagine they will have to accept the authority of the Syrian govt (whatever its complexion), and the Iraqi govt. Obviously both those govts will need to ensure they are more inclusive than they were previously.

        There will however be several thousand foreign fighters, many from Western Europe, Chechnya, and in fact some from Australia and New Zealand. They will have rights, but so do we. Unreconstructed ISIS jihadists wishing to carry out attacks in their home country when they return is hardly acceptable. So I guess a process of re-education and monitoring. The worst, if they have committed serious war crimes such as killing prisoners, would be prosecuted for that.

        It won’t be easy, but what is the alternative?

        Effectively leaving ISIS in place, hope that local forces can defeat them , and accept the inevitable large scale terrorist attacks in the meantime?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “War crimes”.

          All the war crimes? The CIA helping Saddam conduct gas attacks, for example? (Source: the CIA)

          Wedding bombers? Tony Blair?

          Nah, you’ll just go after the low-hanging fruit, which will sort of validate the hatred, eh.

          • RedLogix

            If you are going to uphold that standard OAB – we could successfully prosecute all of human history. Where would the executions stop?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The point is that a one-sided war crimes tribunal will be used as a recruitment tool.

              • RedLogix

                Just as ISIS uses beheading videos as a recruitment tool? This is a very circular argument spiraling tightly into madness.

                I guess it comes down to who you want to be history’s winners, and who will get to write it.

                Or will it turn out so dark, no-one will want to write it?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Um, Dr. Mapp is the one with the “war criminal” solution. Is it ok to point out the hole big enough to park a truck in?

                  Apart from being flawed from the get-go, Mapp’s “solution” sounds remarkably similar to everything that’s already been tried, only much more expensive.

                  I suspect one way to reduce the number of Jihadis is to stop killing Jihadis.

                  • RedLogix

                    The zealot jihadis do not care if they live or die. Their openly declared goal is a worldwide Caliphate and the extermination of anyone opposed to them.

                    An ordinary enemy will usually capitulate when they have suffered something in the order of 20% losses. A zealot will suffer 100% losses knowing that the atrocities will only recruit more to their cause, and ultimately force their opponent into morally debasing themselves.

                    I’ve often thought that it was the kamikaze pilots so perturbed American thinking that it became one of the underlying motives for their use of nuclear weapons against Japanese cities. Yes the USA emerged an apparent victor from WW2, but at a terrible subsequent cost.

                    Yet if we just ‘stop killing jihadis’ – as much as this might ordinarily make sense – the reality is ISIS would have no strategic choice but to continue their escalation of terror.

                    Ultimately I believe it is other Muslims who have the power to defeat the extremists. It is the large majority of Muslims who hold in their hands the power to defeat ISIS, and transform the old, medieval face of Islam into something entirely new. Something the modern world might actually welcome and embrace.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Western nations have far more options that those:

                      The key vulnerabilities identified by MI5 analysts that made those studied receptive to extremist ideology included the experience of migrating to Britain and facing marginalisation and racism; the failure of those with degrees to achieve anything but low-grade jobs; a serious criminal past; travel abroad for up to six months at a time and contact with extremist networks overseas; and religious naivety.

                    • RedLogix

                      And that excellent article goes on:

                      No single measure will reduce radicalisation, it says, but a package targeted at vulnerable groups could include providing fulfilling jobs for young people, better integration of immigrants, effective reintegration of ex-prisoners and the provision of alternatives to the extremist pathway out of “ordinary” criminality.

                      All sound, rational measures. Yet Islam is of course not the only religion in the Middle East.


                      Many of these faiths have adherents in the West who have integrated and function with no more unusual difficulty than do most migrants. And despite the fact that many of these groups have suffered horrendous and sustained persecution over generations in their home countries – we do not see them forming jihadi groups gunning down kids in concert halls.

                      Step back and look broadly at the modern world, and while no place on earth is any kind of utopia, it is the Islamic world that seems some kind of special shit magnet these past 100 years or so. There may well be a reason for that.

                  • Wayne

                    It does not look to me that the “west” has seriously tried to defeat ISIS.

                    Barack Obama is going to have to face the fact that it will require “boots on the ground”, not 150,000 as per Iraq 2003, but certainly more than a few hundred special forces operators. More like some thousands. The French will certainly be up for it. Their Foreign Legion is actually designed for this type of role.

                    Most of the fighting will be done by the Iraq Army and I guess the Syrian Army, but clearly they more support than they have had. Co-ordinating airstrikes, better intelligence and battlefield planning, more precision weapons, probably particular special forces tasks, are the things they need.

                    Unless ISIS is defeated in their proto-state, attacks on this scale will continue.

                    But defeating ISIS on the ground is only part of the job. Re-integrating thousands of defeated ISIS fighters will be the other part. And that will not be easy.

                    • RedLogix


                      I do understand the conventional wisdom and thinking behind this. But is this not just a carbon copy of what the Americans have already tried in Iraq?

                      I agree that ultimately ISIS must be denied territory. Until this is done they will operate unconstrained by police action.

                      But we do seem to have so very recently tried all of what you describe – and if the Americans with all of their military capacity withdrew bloodied – what might be different this time?

                    • Wayne


                      What I am suggesting is not the same as Iraq 2003. It is primarily supporting the Iraq government to regain control of its territory.

                      However, I do accept it is similar in the sense that is western forces in the Middle East. If we could only get to a point that these governments were self sustaining and were not a source of terrorism. A live and let live philosophy.

                      Of course I realize that it is vastly more complicated than that. And that conflict between the West and the Middle East goes back millennia, to the times of the Roman empire. The modern iteration of conflict really being WW1 to the present. New Zealanders have been engaged in war in the Middle East since 1915, and while the scale is not of the level of WW1 and WW2, it does seem that we will be there a while yet, and probably not just in a training role.

                      If there is a big step up of western engagement with special forces, it is not hard to imagine that New Zealand might be expected to contribute.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Wayne, what evidence do you have that the Iraqi government has been a source of terrorism (other than CIA-backed gas attacks), while you plot killings based on this false premise?

  24. weka 28

    Parramata Mission – the best way to defeat ISIL is to make friends with a Muslim.

  25. One Two 29

    With climate talks due to commence in just over two weeks, it is a certainty the worlds most auspicious security and intelligence agencies were carrying out advanced operational activity.

  26. Mike the Savage One 30

    I was shocked when following the reporting on Al Jazeera today at just before and after lunchtime. My sympathies go out to the victims and their families and friends. I fear though there will be more of this to come, as horrible this may sound. What we will get is more drone strikes, more air bombardments, more arms for the various groups fighting in Syria, Iraq and some other places in the Middle and Near East, and just more of an escalation. Radicalised fighters will have their allies and fight back with whatever means.

    There are no easy answers, we can suspect who may be behind this, it is surely a cold blooded, calculated effort, and those that organise and do this, they will not stop for any usual appeals and condemnations that may go out to them.

    Anger and violence are like poison, and once they takes hold of people’s minds and actions, they tend to cause reactions, as we once saw many years ago with suicide bombers in Israel, increasingly see this now in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and other places.

    There were some concerned refugees that went to Europe, who have already reported that some (former) Syrian government agents but also jihadist fighters were recognised among some refugees that crossed the many borders.

    The responsible ones may though even have been born and raised in France, who knows, this is really scary stuff. The war is virtually coming to Europe, I have no doubt about it.

    • ropata 30.1

      It really sucks for the refugees, I heard that a mob burned down all their tents in the Calais camp.

      The attacks will also serve to ghettoise the local Muslims from the French population and destroy their chances of integration into French society.

      I expect the European polity will become a lot harsher toward Islam, especially immigrants.

      • Grindlebottom 30.1.1

        Well, that’s the plan with ISIS. Destabilise Western societies and suck them into perpetual war with Islam until Islam wins out. They don’t care if the local “tame” (in their view) muslim populations get repressed, expelled or even massacred in the interim. It just assists their purpose in delivering more jihadis. This has turned out to be the most significant threat to Western civilization since WW2. Who would ever have thought it before 2001?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The biggest threat to civilisation is so-called “civilised” politicians committing war crimes and human rights abuses. That and racism on the streets, constantly reminding the “uncivilised” who the enemy is.

          • Grindlebottom

            I probably should’ve said Western (and maybe Eastern) European countries, not Western civilisation. I agree Western governments, intelligence agencies, and military/industrial interests have historically had a significant hand in creating the conditions for Islamic enmity, but I don’t think the West is solely to blame for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, that’s been waxing and waning in the Middle East for ages.

            Apart from Climate Change, IF is now IMO the biggest threat to Western countries since WW2. Particularly since Islamic communities are embedded in our societies and include many to whom many western liberal norms and practices are anathema.

            When I reasoned my way from catholicism to atheism thirty odd years ago I naively thought most of the world would embrace atheism as modern education spread. I never imagined a world where Christian, Islamic, Jewish or other religious fundamentalists would still have as a strong a grip on as many people as they do today, and thought the days of religious crusades and martyrdom as ideals were long gone. I thought the days of suicide attacks ended with the Japanese in WW2 and were an aberration unlikely to be repeated.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Islamic fundamentalism is a red herring, a hook upon which to hang bigotry and nationalism.

              That isn’t quite what I’m getting at though: our leaders are acting in a thoroughly uncivilised manner: they undermine civilisation far more effectively than Daesh ever will.

              • Grindlebottom

                Islamic State really changes the equation though OAB. Its ideology is to destroy Western society and its vision is global domination. Whether they have a realistic hope of achieving that or not (and they don’t) members won’t resile from that aim, are prepared to die for it, in fact welcome dying for it, and regardless of how they came to be and who is to blame, they need to be wiped out.

                It’s all very well some saying their own people (muslims) should do it, but how well have they been doing that job unaided to date? Once IS conquer an area and the killings of gays, minorities, heretics, captured soldiers, whoever else pisses them off (with filming and internet postings), plus sundry expulsions, property & booty-seizing, sex slave allocation and administrative matters are completed, they make a better job of running their fiefdoms than their predecessors, and nobody who’s left either can, or wants to, stand up to them,

                They need to be wiped out in their base. I don’t know how: better brains than mine will have to come up with the methodology. Probably does involve Russia, Iran, Western coalition, Assad’s regime, Kurds, Iraqis all getting together & finally agreeing to do it. Too bad for Saudi. I think it will actually take boots on the ground, lots of boots, they’ll have to go in to the towns they’re embedded in. They need to be ring fenced for that process to work.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Daesh can’t hold their own against the forces of democratic Kurdistan. They are not the first group to try and destroy democracy and human rights, nor will they be the last.

                  • Grindlebottom

                    Yes they can. You squeeze them back in one place, they withdraw to avoid too many casualties & pop up in another. They’ve plenty of trained, experienced military commanders.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He who delights in slaughter is no leader of men. Sun Tzu, c. 500BCE

                      Experienced military commanders grow weary of war.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      And are replaced by those who direct them and whose objectives haven’t been achieved. Until they themselves are defeated and removed. These people have many similarities to Hitler and the Nazis. Blind allegience to an ideology & a supreme leader.

  27. Uhh oohh…. The First Problems With The Official Account Of The Paris Attacks Appear Or Why Was Hollande Still In The Stadium After Two Bombs Exploded Outside Of It?

  28. Tinfoilhat 32

    Are you unable to let your thirst for conspiracy theories rest for a few days of mourning ?

  29. Jenny Kirk 33

    Comment from The Daily Telegraph, UK, in this morning’s Herald might help towards providing a part of the answer to Why? A bit simplistic perhaps, but basic enough.

    ………………Every Western capital knows Islamist extremists would love to strike a blow at its heart. But few are so tantalising a target as Paris. Why? France fights jihadists worldwide; has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe – and arguably the most divided society. ………………………

    • Proud poppy wearer 33.1

      That quote looks a bit like suggesting that it’s France’s fault for this murderous assault on its own citizens – a notion which I would refute in its entirety as I did with similar suggestions about the Charlie hebdo murders.

  30. infused 34

    The blind leading the blind.

    Once they get a hold of nukes, the world might wake up.

  31. Morrissey 36

    Oddly, I can’t remember the U.S. president or the U.K prime minister or the New Zealand prime minister saying a word about this act of terrorism….

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