The aftermath of the savage attack on the city of Paris, which has been attributed to IS and a Belgian extremist who affiliates himself with ISIL, makes me think of two things. One thing is how utterly familiar violence associated with Islamic terrorism is in this day and age, and the other pertains to war.
I honestly have spoken very little about what has happened in Paris. At first I was thinking “what the fuck is going on here?”, and eventually I learned of how apparently the attack was conducted by Islamic terrorists, and then I realized “so we’re going through this again are we?”. I don’t know if many people still remember, but I haven’t at all forgotten that Islamic extremists have attacked Paris only as recently as 10 months ago. That’s just barely old news to me, so much that it feels like an almost dispiriting repeat, one that probably has me thinking “why France?”. And while we’re all reeling from the news, the politicians are offering their condolences like they’re expected to, and people return to reduce themselves to dehumanizing the Muslim community as a whole. Even in LHP circles I have found people who think of the attack on Paris and think “fucking Muslims!”. And if I don’t see people using the attack to justify their belief that all Muslims are evil, I see the traditional atheist bland gloat in another example of how religion inspires terror and violence and proclaim “see, the problem is religion”, all while people like ISIL represent neither Muslims nor religion as a whole. It’s just all so lamentable, and it’s all so familiar.
I also don’t quite know what to think when I see people express their sadness and their shock of what has happened, while I don’t know what to think other than that things like this have lost their power to shock me because it’s all so inanely familiar. When I observe I feel like I have found myself above it all, but not necessarily in a positive sense. I mean, to paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, I know why they cry but it’s something that I just can’t do. I feel very little sadness compared to contempt for the fact that it’s all basically the same. Can you blame me for feeling that way, living in this day and age and knowing about what’s going on in the world?
What I have found interesting, however, is how the French president Francois Hollande, and even the likes of Anonymous, people who I think of peaceniks, begin proclaiming war (though in the case of Anonymous it’s probably just hacktivism rather than actual warfare). Honestly, I let out a hammy evil laugh when my brother informed me of this because to me it proved only that no one has escaped the desire for war. Over the weekend, I had become convinced that we are living in a time of war, and I feel that we are no closer to the “peace” that most people imagine than we may have been only five years ago. We can deny it all we like, but I see the human race as still being drawn into warfare. I swear I am mostly alone in my belief that this year seems to be one of the most violent so far from what I’ve been hearing about, and I feel like we’re only going to see an increase violent activity from those who wish to tear down that which we hold dear and replace it with a realization of their own hate-filled dreams. In the face of all that, I would say it is a miracle that people would even think that peace will win the day. Well, not so much a miracle, rather an exercise in nonsense.
Why? Because when people like ISIL show up to destroy, kill, rape, and enslave, our desire is to answer them with violence, destruction, and hatred or contempt. In this situation, war is what we want and peace can take a backseat. I’m not saying that humans don’t want peace at all, or that humans want only violence, though I can’t deny that violence is one of our predilections as a species. But I think that we deep down want to answer force with force. We have this guilty conscience about our history or war and violence and I can’t say I blame anyone entirely, after all there can be few people who honestly appreciate the bloodshed seen particularly in modern wars, but when it all comes down to it, when there are those who seek our conquest and our destruction, when there are those who cannot be compromised with or reasoned with, the only answer is war is against those people. People like ISIL cannot be compromised with, they don’t observe the niceties that much the world takes for granted, and the whole “don’t give in to fear or they win” doesn’t work, because unlike common terrorists whose prime directive is to spread fear, ISIL would lay waste to our civilization and kill, rape, and enslave its inhabitants no matter what we think of them, and the only reason they wouldn’t is because our civilization fights back, just as it naturally would.
Even without ISIL, I suspect there is a desire for conflict somewhere, waiting to be ignited, even if it’s not clearly for the right reasons. And in general when I look at the UN and how a chunk of the world’s leaders barely hide their hatred or contempt for each other, it feels like if it weren’t for the UN, they’d be at military conflict with each other without a whole lot of effort because that’s secretly what they want.
So if anyone’s hoping that peace will prevail, I say that it’s your right to hope for that peace, but the way things are going it might be precisely that right to hope that may wind up having to be fought for more than usual. Or, if I don’t put it that way, I’d smirk.