Friday, January 9, 2015

The French connection

Friday, January 09, 2015

They killed the terrorists in France today, ending an ordeal that will likely take on the same significance to the French as 9/11 did to us, and will cause the same shift to the right as we saw with the monstrous legislation we call “the Patriot Act.”
These symbolic moments miss the point, of course, and we do not learn from history.
Even when right wing fanatics killed their own leader in Israel, the knee jerk public voted right wing, and so we edge closer to the fascist state everybody claims to hate.
I’m not sure if I should blame media for being part of the conspiracy to scare everybody, but in truth, fear spreads worse than Ebola ever could, and we always react the same way.
A whacko with a legal gun kills a bunch of kids at Sandy Hill Elementary School, and nutty people go out and buy more guns, adopting the NRA’s sick belief in turning every school into an armed camp and every adult into Wyatt Earp.
Recently, I watched a bunch of Dirty Harry films and realized once more just how bad they were and how misguided. Fortunately, I got to see two films back to back, The Enforcer and then Bullet, and saw just how films of the same theme could come to dramatically different conclusions. People with guns are not heroes; they are simply people with guns, emotional, egotistical, power crazed as the drivers that tear down my street many times the speed limit, drunk on the presumption that they have power, when they are mostly losers who need a gun to overcome their lack of importance in the real world.
But incidents like those in France this week, or at Sandy Hill, or in New York at 9/11 only push people over the edge into this paranoia – which either translates into letting government have too much power over us or insistence of believing if we have weapons of our own we can protect ourselves, when all either does is put us in greater danger, the first feeding the fantasies of conspiracy minded that they need guns to ward off some plot by our own government, and the second to believe that they really are Wyatt Earp.
What’s sad about all this is how one thing feeds on another, and how one or both of the two brothers killed in France became radicalized over the reports of Americans torturing prisoners in Iraq – which was justified because like those of the CIA – someone attacked America and we need to hurt someone to make sure it doesn’t happen again, when it always happens again, especially when we insist on hurting people.
The history of the CIA is one of miscalculation and cruelty, a secret society that believes it has our best interests at heart, but we can’t know what they are doing or why, even though ultimately, what they do causes someone somewhere to attack us.
So we can now expect from this French incident another series of aftershocks, attack and counter attack, more bloodshed, mostly of innocent people, who ultimately are the collateral damage associated with governments doing what they want whenever they want to whomever they deem to deserve it.
Meanwhile, fear will make us build more walls to keep these evil terrorists from getting at us, and we will empower even more armed guards who will act as our guardians while making prisoners of us all in the same of freedom.
Such a foolish notion. We never get to the root cause of any of it. We never find out why they hate us so much, we just keep doing whatever it takes to make them hate us all the more.

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