The Watering Hole, Monday, November 16, 2015: None So Blind

On Friday, November 13, at approximately 9:20 PM local time, a group of well-armed criminals began a mass murder of completely innocent people in Paris, France. There were people from many countries killed, including America. More than 120 people died, not counting the killers, at least two of whom detonated bomb vests killing themselves and one other person total. While suicide bombers attacked a stadium where the President of France was attending a football match, several kilometers across town gunmen opened fire on cafes and bars killing fifteen people. They got in their cars and calmly drove down the road where they got out and killed at least five more people dining in a restaurant terrace. Witnesses say they got in their cars and, again, drove away slowly, calmly. About a mile away they opened fire on an other establishment killing at least 19 people. A third group of attackers converged on a concert hall where an American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal, was performing. They began systematically shooting people and when the police arrived, they began a two-hour-forty-minute siege that ended with at least 89 innocent people losing their lives. Another suicide bomber detonated himself taking no one else with him. By about 12:30 AM local time (6:30 PM EST) it was over. In all, at least 129 innocent people were killed by these ruthless, deluded criminals. My heart goes out to their families and friends. I can’t pretend to know what going through something as horrific as this is like.

And, yes, I am calling them “criminals,” not the “t-word.” I refuse to frame these criminal acts the way the perpetrators want them portrayed. To do so would be to fight this conflict on their terms. They want people to be afraid, and the right wing in this country is giving them everything they want. They want the United States and its European allies to to begin flexing their military muscle and reign bombs down on millions of people, killing as many innocent people, preferably children, as possible. The bombing campaigns will then be used to recruit young, disillusioned, easily-brainwashed kids to become killing machines in an effort to exert more control over the people in the region. The recruiters are cowards, of course. They would never strap on a bomb vest and blow themselves up. They get others to do it. And, yes, they are systematically performing deadly acts meant to strike fear in a populace in order to effect political change and thus are, by definition, “terrorists.” Or so they claim. Either way, they are still criminals. And criminals are fought by the police, not by the army. You’ve heard the expression, “When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.” Well, in the same sense, when all you want to use is an army, everything happening around you starts to look like a war. This mindset has to stop.

Conservatives want to use nothing but the army to fight these criminals. They want us to constantly send our brave men and women in uniform (well, they would prefer the women stay behind, but that’s a topic for another post) off to fight fanatical criminals in faraway lands. People who, by the way, will almost certainly never be setting foot on our shores to do the things conservatives say they will do. They recruit other people to do that. The people we’re sending our troops to fight are terrorizing people in other countries. The only people being terrorized here are conservatives, especially the ones who watch Fox News Channel. And, as they so often do, they ignore history and reality to tell you not only who you should fear, but who you should blame for that fear. President Obama.

A little background before continuing. On September 11, 2001, a bunch of murderous criminals carried out a mass murder so effectively that we decided to forget we had a Constitution that gave us certain rights, and begin preparations for a military invasion of a country which had nothing whatsoever to do with those attacks. And to help convince the American people that this invasion was not only justified but absolutely necessary to the very survival of our own country, they used their friends at Fox News Channel to spread a few lies. By the time they were through, a majority of Fox News Viewers believed at least one, and sometimes all, of these three things to be true: 1) That Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (which ones were never quite clear); 2) That Saddam had a working relationship with al Qaeda – the people whom we blamed for the attacks of 9/11 – and that he was prepared to pass of his chemical weapons to them; or, 3) That Saddam and Iraq were involved with the planning or execution of the 9/11 attacks. At least half of all Fox News Channel viewers believed at least one of those things to be true. Not one of them is. And to this day, some conservatives out there still believe at least one of those three false things to be true. Eventually, Saddam was captured, put on trial for killing about 150 people, found guilty and executed. Saddam was a brutal dictator but because of that there wasn’t a problem with groups of wannabe terrorists roaming the country killing people. Once he was gone, his less brutal replacements were unable to stop the infiltration of Iraq by al Qaeda. And the presence of al Qaeda in Iraq gave rise to groups like ISIS. It is an undeniable fact. Had we not invaded Iraq and removed Saddam from power, al Qaeda would never gave gained a foothold there, and ISIS would never have been formed from them. So when Fox News Channel starts spreading provable lies, I get concerned. And what are they saying now? That the attacks in Paris are Obama’s fault.

It started around 6:16 PM, before the events in Paris had come to a conclusion. Courtesy of Newshounds:

CHARLES PAYNE: Many Americans, Ambassador, are sort of frustrated here with the administration for perhaps being too reserved on this issue, for not calling out what everyone else suspects and thinks seriously is going on here and perhaps even emboldening these kind of attacks.

Less than an hour later, Megyn Kelly was “just asking” if Obama was to blame for not being more like Bush. Never mind that the primary reason we elected Obama was to have someone who was less like Bush. In many ways, he was less like Bush. Not all. Anyway…

After that it wasn’t long before more and more Fox Folks started throwing accusations around that if it weren’t for Obama not being Bush, maybe we wouldn’t be having all these problems with ISIS. Yet they will never see that if it weren’t for Bush being Bush, ISIS wouldn’t be around today killing people like the murderous assholes they are.

This is our daily open thread.

32 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, November 16, 2015: None So Blind

  1. Thank you Wayne for your efforts to put this atrocity in an order that approximates a reality we all can accept. Kudos. But it’s late here on the left coast, and all I can come up with is fuck the fuckers, the fuckwits that continually fuck the common man/woman all over this planet. Paris will survive, thank gawd.

  2. Criminals and Cowards.
    There’s only so much ‘cracking down’ a society can do before they become the society the criminal cowards covet.
    The age old question arises, how much security is enough, and appropriate.
    The reich wing will try to use this to turn us into a police state. We need to find the sweet spot.

  3. Lest we forget, the genesis of this current round of hostilities must be laid at the feet of Cheney, et al. including GW the moron.

  4. Was out of the cell range most of the weekend – camping high in the mountains under a Pacific storm. 6″ of rain and then the snow started coming – but didn’t stay. Heard a little about Paris, but now catching up on the detail that everyone needs to know about what happened, reading about the people who lost their lives so I can remember some of their stories and then about what happens next.

    Seeking voices of sanity and calm and solidarity. I am noting that tomorrow’s friendly game between England and France at Wembley is going ahead – the English fans are expected to do something unique and special tomorrow – sing La Marseillaise.

    • Wow! That is something English fans would not do lightly. A very, very powerful show of support coming from them. I’m sure the French athletes will appreciate the significance of that gesture.

      • Here’s the Beeb on the plan to hold the game tomorrow – it’s just a friendly game – nothing hangs on it. But having been at the stadium myself in September (an occasion that set a record for a crowd at an international rugby match – 89,000+), I’ve seen what it can be like with emotion at a fever pitch – and before the game starts, it surely will be – the order of the anthems will be reversed – the away team always comes first – but not tomorrow. I am going to see if I can catch some of the game tomorrow for lunchtime to see. The English fans always do a human cross of St George behind the goal, but not tomorrow, they have plans to show the Tricolour.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34832114

  5. “If ISIS were REALLY serious about killing Americans on American soil, they’d join the NRA.”

  6. Nature News&Comment follows
    Outi ‏@OiskaE 3 Oct 2014
    Critically endangered Akohekohe (crested honeycreeper) is endemic to the island of Maui in Hawaiʻi.
    Pic: Michael Neal

  7. “I predicted Osama bin Laden,” Mr. Trump declared in Knoxville, adding, “In my book, I predicted terrorism. Because I can feel it, like I feel a good location, O.K.?”

Comments are closed.