Saturday, November 14, 2015

First Thoughts on Paris

I sat down on the sofa with my iPad on the coffee table in front of me, my cell phone in my hand and the television turned on, switching between Shepard Smith and Anderson Cooper. The news was coming fast and furious from Paris, a multi-pronged attack on soft civilian targets in one of the world's greatest cities. I sat there for two hours trying to make sense of the senseless. Here are my initial reactions and observations.

My first Facebook post was a bit too snarky, a quip about it being unlikely that the perpetrators would turn out to be a band of "terrorizing Episcopalians." But seriously, what honest, thinking person didn't think it was an attack by radical Islamists?

It's amazing how a cowardly attack on the free people of Paris can transform you into a French patriot in about five minutes.

Every time something like this happens, there is always someone who jumps up and screams, "Yeah, but just two days ago 150 Hulu tribesmen were killed by Tutzi tribesmen in Mozambique and nobody cares! That proves the west is RACIST!!" No, it proves that you are a blithering idiot. 

In general, whenever I hear a talking head reacting to the massacre of defenseless free citizens with the phrase, "Yes, but..." I stop listening. When the blood of innocents is still flowing, it's not time to trot out your moral equivalence talking points.

On the other hand, the very second that confirmation comes that ISIS is behind the attack, you can practically feel the heat being generated by hands gleefully being rubbed together over at the Weekly Standard. The answer to every terrorist atrocity isn't, "Let's send American soldiers to the Middle East again!"

Remember when some of our sillier politicians were telling us how the biggest threat to our National Security was....climate change?

Hearing a French President declare that France is about to wage a war that will be "pitiless" is a very un-French sounding phrase. I truly wonder what that will look like.

I find myself fighting...hard...against my first and perhaps most human instinct...revenge. I've grown very weary of seeing free citizens slaughtered in the streets of good and great cities by remorseless killers yelling Arabic phrases. Part of me says, "Ok want to see paradise, game on!"

Pam asked me this morning, "If this sort of thing should happen in one of our cities, which of the Presidential candidates would you most want in the Oval Office?" Great question. After giving it some thought, I whittled it down to four that I would be Ok with, although, being "Ok" with someone is not the same thing as "enthusiastic." My four were, in no particular order, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, and Hillary Clinton...for what that's worth.

Godspeed to the people of France and free people everywhere.