Terrorism, and the Legacy of Charlie Hebdo

Eiffel Tower background with French flag with fist holding pencil

Eiffel Tower photo courtesy of Fotalia/French flag with pencil, Thursday Review

Terrorism, and the Legacy of Charlie Hebdo
| published January 15, 2015 |

By Earl Perkins
Thursday Review features editor

Terrorists and lawless groups do whatever they want, leaving death and destruction in their wake while bringing anarchy to the world: herding those of other religions into soccer stadiums before raping the women and killing the men, kidnapping children, stealing land and property from others, enslaving and torturing anybody who gets in their way.

These are just a few of many things that bad people have done for eons, and organized nations today somehow think negotiating with these life forms is a viable option. France traditionally pays large ransoms for returning its citizens unharmed, so now you understand why that country is often targeted.

Much of the world is populated by good and decent people, but there are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, and if only a small percentage were horrible, then Christianity and all Western nations would quickly become nonexistent.

Many Americans have always lived on an island of calm in comparison to others, looking down on those less fortunate and expecting others to run their lives the same way. Many in the West paint all Muslims with a broad brush and talk garbage about why they don't stand up to terrorists. Now you see what they will do to cartoonists, so don't talk to me about policing your own community. They have been suffering for a 1,000 years, and you are just now facing possible inconveniences.

However, by not sending a high-profile entourage to France's unity rally in Paris, the United States government has sent a powerful message and let the world know what it thinks about its supposed allies. We have abrogated our leadership role as the world's guiding light and will pay the price every time we want something from another nation.

We've been loaning money to countries throughout the world that don't respect us, and received nothing but grief in return. You cannot bribe others and then expect them to treat you in an honorable fashion. Isis and Al Qaeda have targeted the US and its supposed allies, and this nation will be expected to do the heavy lifting and take the heat for being a bully. I would use every lethal high-tech device, drone, sniper and invasive Special Forces group at my disposal to dispatch a few thousand pieces of human garbage to the gates of hell. My answer to the world would be what the mayor of Rotterdam told Muslims who don't appreciate freedoms enjoyed in the West (and we won’t print that here).

Bad people hate journalists because they expose truths that many would rather keep secret, and now a million people have marched in solidarity through the streets of Paris in response to murders of cartoonists at the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo. A patriotic spirit and zeal for life that had abandoned Parisians for decades is now sweeping through France.

Last weekend’s massive march—in which more than one million people walked through the avenues of Paris—was was an incredible show of support for the 17 people who died during a three-day killing spree launched by jihadists. But the U.S. government was gutless, and apparently and unwilling to associate itself with the unity march, almost certainly stemming from fear that its own citizens would be targeted. Terrorists will now seek out Americans with a vengeance.

What Western and former colonial powers don't understand is that people from their former overseas empires have discovered the meaning of being a member of the realm. Bedouin tribesmen now leave their North African tents and homelands, stepping off a plane at Orly into a foreign world. Wonderful jobs and open arms do not await them. Learning how to use a toilet becomes a cross between a challenge and an opportunity.

I was certainly impressed and hopeful when I saw the outpouring of love and support shown by those who rallied throughout Paris and around the world, according to CNN. Despite their differences, throngs gathered under wintry blue skies, sharing a defiant message—France will not be divided by fear or religious differences.

"I am French and I am not afraid" read one banner. Daniel, a hip young Jewish singer and Riad a 60-year-old Muslim shopkeeper swapped views on the country's ordeal as the crowd gathered.

"We can live together," said Daniel Benisty, 30, who is Jewish like the four men killed when Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly stormed a kosher supermarket in the French capital.

"It's the idea of living together because we share the same values, liberty, fraternity, equality, to live in peace and respect each other despite our differences."

"Exactly!" agreed Riad, the 60-year-old shopkeeper. "I don't recognize these Islamists, they're not Muslims."

As more and more Parisians poured into the city center—and, when that became crammed to capacity, to nearby streets—some held high cartoons drawn by the slain Charlie Hebdo staff.

One banner covered in the cartoons proclaimed: "Laugh Charlie, it isn't over."

Related Thursday Review articles:

Charlie Hebdo Strong; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; January 13, 2015

More Than a Million March in Paris; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; January 12, 2015.