Sunday, November 15, 2015

Some comments from others about the savage attacks in Paris.

Excerpted from an AP article by Robert Burns: "Paris attacks may lead to US military anti-IS escalation:
One new wrinkle since Friday's attacks in Paris is the prospect of France asking its NATO allies to come to its aid, invoking the 28 members' treaty obligation to consider an armed attack on one member as an attack against them all. That has happened only once in NATO's 66-year history: in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks against the U.S.
James Stavridis, the retired Navy admiral who served as NATO's top commander in Europe from 2009 to 2013, said NATO should play a military role now.
"NATO's actions need to be deliberate, meaningful and at a significant scale," Stavridis said by email, adding that consultations among the allies should begin shortly.
Stavridis, who is dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said NATO special forces could be called on in Iraq and Syria as aircraft spotters and as trainers of anti-IS fighters. They also could gather intelligence and conduct raids, he said. The alliance should welcome nonmember participants, including Russia, he said.
"Soft power and playing the long game matter in the Middle East, but there is a time for the ruthless application of hard power," Stavridis said. "This is that time, and NATO should respond militarily against the Islamic State with vigor.
Excerpts from Charles P. Pierce's ESQUIRE online article "There Is Only One Way To Defeat Isis:

These are a few things that will not solve the terrible and tangled web of causation and violence in which the attacks of Friday night were spawned. A 242-ship Navy will not stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant. The F-35 fighter plane will not stop a group of motivated murderous fanatics from detonating bombs at a soccer match. A missile-defense shield in Poland will not stop a platoon of motivated murderous fanatics from opening up in a jammed concert hall, or taking hostages, or taking themselves out with suicide belts when the police break down the doors. American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will not stop the events like what happened in Paris from happening again because American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will be dying there in combat against only the most obvious physical manifestation of a deeper complex of ancient causes and ancient effects made worse by the reach of the modern technology of bloodshed and murder. Nobody's death is ever sacrifice enough for that.
Francois Hollande, the French president who was at the soccer game that was attacked, has promised that France will wage "pitiless war" against the forces that conceived and executed the attacks. Most wars are pitiless, but not all of them are fought with the combination of toughness and intelligence that this one will require. This was a lesson that the United States did not learn in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. There are things that nations can do in response that are not done out of xenophobic rage and a visceral demand for revenge. There are things that nations can do in response that do not involve scapegoating the powerless and detaining the innocent.  There is no real point in focusing a response on the people whose religion makes us nervous. States should retaliate against states.
It is long past time for the oligarchies of the Gulf states to stop paying protection to the men in the suicide belts. Their societies are stunted and parasitic. The main job of the elites there is to find enough foreign workers to ensla…er…indenture to do all the real work. The example of Qatar and the interesting business plan through which that country is building the facilities for the 2022 World Cup is instructive here. Roughly the same labor-management relationship exists for the people who clean the hotel rooms and who serve the drinks. In Qatar, for people who come from elsewhere to work, passports have been known to disappear into thin air. These are the societies that profit from terrible and tangled web of causation and violence that played out on the streets of Paris. These are the people who buy their safety with the blood of innocents far away.

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