Buzzing Blogosphere: World reacts to Paris attacks

The evening of 13th November, 2015 saw the city of Paris in a devastated state. A series of terror attacks hit different parts of the city killing over 132 people (and counting) and injuring hundreds. These attacks, which are being called the worst in Europe, left the locations of the attack splattered with blood and the survivors looking for their loved ones in fields of dead bodies. Some managed to escape the horror with the most heart wrenching sights in front of their eyes that will haunt them for a lifetime. We pray for the departed souls to rest in peace and we wish strength for the survivors to face life once again after the unspeakable horrors they witnessed.

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The whole world has rallied around with France and condemned the attacks in the strongest words. There is an outpouring of support in the digital world. Indian bloggers too have taken to the Internet to express what went through their mind when they heard about the attacks. Here are some blogs that we thought of sharing with our readers.

The Frustrated Indian talks about how the term ‘religion’ has created an illusionary space that condones all the atrocities and horror perpetrated in its name. They also talked about how politics tends to take issues to irrelevant ends.

There are people who actually view the world through the lens of Newtonian philosophy of action and reaction and blame the Gujarati CM of 2002 for the same. Mani Shankar Aiyar- the person who indirectly helped the Brit PM to introduce the term chaiwala in his speech talked about the Islamophobia of France behind the Charlie Hebdo murder. “France has had Charlie Hebdo, because it banned Hijab.”- And the mainstream media had little to offer except silent applause to a well-articulated, secular remark. I didn’t know secularism of Paris, can enviably bring votes in New Delhi. Terror does have a religion-that of hatred and blind prejudice.Respect the secularism, sir which you never revered. Well, marches have stopped, dissent/intolerance seems contained, national awards look happy with their change of address, Cow is in peace, and Anupam Kher doused in his show where “anything can happen”. Drama in India has gone for a pee, while the shit of the world awaits.”

Manojenath in his blog, shares how the same word reincarnates itself in different ways only to leave traces in history that no one wants to read through. The city of Mumbai has witnessed a similar attack. Nothing much was improved since then.

“Several truths are told as to the terrorist attacks on World Trade Centre, Pentagon and other symbols of American power. One that terrorism is a crime proper to the 21st Century and that centralised technological societies and powerful military states are as vulnerable as the lesser states. A lone malcontent exploiting the vulnerabilities of a society so organized can wage a war, almost on an equal footing. That the concept of security is illusory and the developing asymmetries are mind-boggling.”

We need a perspective that allows for change, courage and strength. We need solutions that help us bond together by the word ‘people’ and not religion. We need prayers, and we need to forget our differences and bond together. DailyO brings this sentiment to us in a poetic tone.  

Terror attacks are events that raise several heavy questions on issues like security, development, policies and law. The question however is, is always being prepared enough? If yes, then how are these horrendous acts repeating themselves? If no, then what level and magnitude of preparation is suppose to be a right or a reasonable one?  Aurelien Mondon at YouthKiAwaaz talks about the approach in future for France.

“More than ever, it will be key to take a cautious approach to explain and analyse the events and their ramifications. Entertaining a climate of fear and paranoia could have serious consequences. Emergency measures are indeed necessary at present, but they must remain emergency measures. If they become permanent, they will send France down a deeply dangerous road.

French politics has become deeply cynical, and the electorate has lost faith in its leaders. Many politicians will attempt to profit from this climate. Nicolas Sarkozy has already called for more drastic measures to be put in place. Some will also promise salvation by closing borders. They will call for a return to a mythical, good old peaceful France, overwriting the country’s history and its constant and violent flux between reaction and revolution.

To prevent such appropriations and long-term consequences, it is crucial not to jump to simplistic conclusions – as happened after 9/11, an event that has already been invoked many times.

This would be playing right into the hands of the terrorists themselves. A war of civilisations is the very fantasy IS and its ilk are trying to construct. They seek to enshrine divisions between an imagined ‘us’ in the West, standing together for a loosely defined version of democracy, and “them”, attempting to appear a united force in an area torn apart by years of war.

Falling for this narrative would offer IS exactly the false image of unity it wants to propagate. It would also be a dangerous simplification of who ‘we’ are – at the expense of anyone who acts or thinks differently.”

Harini Calamur who successfully wears many hats describes how the four letter word has over the years gone down to define insanity in new ways.

This is what they have done to people in areas they have gained control – Shias, Sufis, Christians, and anyone else who is not like them (this is last year’s HRW report, this year the toll would have gone up)

ISIS,….(has) systematically killed and threatened Iraq’s Chaldo-Assyrian Christians, Shia Shabaks and Turkmen, and Yazidis, labeling them crusaders, heretics, and devil-worshipers, respectively.

Last week they bombed Beirut, Baghdad and Paris.

The comparisons with 26/11 are natural. And also very real. It is almost as though the terror planner watched every bit of video and read every transcript of the carnage in Mumbai and planned a surgical and brutal strike. Anyone who has seen videos and pictures of the carnage of both, cannot help but make those comparisons.

And, there is one comparison above all that needs to be considered. And, that is, these people – the terror masters, and their rabid minions – don’t want to talk. don’t want to negotiate. Don’t want to listen to reason. Don’t want to have anything to do with basic humanity and decency, or even rules of war. How do you get them to stop ?

The answer is actually quite simple, if terribly brutal. The only way to stop them is to stop them. Permanently.”

One bomb blasts kills people. Innocent people. It does not kill ideologies (good or bad), it does not kill religion and it does not kill nationalities. It is a HUMAN loss. Mumbai is still making efforts to come out of the shock of the 26/11 attacks. Paris has seen something very similar. Humanity will always win, but the loss is irreparable. GreatGameIndia shares some lessons to learn.

Bruce Riedel, Director of The Intelligence Project at a Washington, DC based public policy organization Brookings Institution claimed the Paris attacks were modeled on Mumbai attacks of 2008. Mumbai has been studied by both terrorists and counter-terrorists because it set a gold standard for how a small group of suicidal fanatics can paralyze a major city, attract global attention, and terrorize a continent. The Paris and Mumbai attacks both used small, well-armed bands of terrorists striking simultaneously and sequentially against multiple soft targets in an urban area.

However upon taking a deeper look at the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks of 2008 we find facts still ignored or never taken into consideration by our investigative agencies and many crucial questions still remain unanswered to this day. In that respect, first all aspects of the Mumbai attacks need to be understood thoroughly to be able to draw any conclusive parallel with the Paris attacks in terms of the motive behind the attacks and their perpetrators.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks itself were a continuation of a string of attacks in India including the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which was a sequel to the Madrid train bombings in 2004.”

Only the people who faced this disaster can describe the severity of it. But the whole world could feel the pain of the attacks in their hearts, and opened up in support of Parisians. The intensity of the issue is enough to tear people in parts but there are some people who feel that what seems apparent at the surface might not be the truth at all. Binu Mathew takes an account of it.

“Even before the investigations began, in fact an hour after the attack took place, French President Hollande blamed the attack on ISIS. Later ISIS themselves came forward and claimed that they carried out the attack. This may well be the case. But we can not forget the fact that anyone can claim to be an ISIS and take responsibility of the attack. Even if the claim was made by the ISIS themselves that doesn’t prove that they carried out the attack. They can falsely take claim on the attack, to boost their image as the best terrorist group around, a claim that will fill their coffers with terrorist sympathizers from around the world. So, the ISIS claim cannot be taken in its face value, but must the thoroughly investigated.

There is another angle to Paris terrorist attack. This may well be a false flag attack. False flags attacks have happened several times before in history, including the infamous Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933, initially blamed on the communists which was later proved to be the handiwork of German secret service. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazi Party that communists were plotting against the German government. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler later famously said, “Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.

Here is a short history of proven false flag attacks. Paris attack may not be a false flag attack. But we can not rule out the false flag angle. This angle too must be investigated before we reach any conclusion regarding the Paris terrorist attack.”

The security and safety of the world is at stake with increasing number of attacks claiming innocent lives. Is this all, or the world nations need to prepare themselves to counter such extremist attacks? Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain  shares his views.

“The tragedy in Paris is most regrettable; loss of more than 160 innocent lives at the hand of extremist elements anywhere is despicable. Yet, the message coming out from this attack is that the world is nowhere near any guarantee of safety and security from elements that nurse grudges against society and follow and promote extreme ideologies. Details suggest that terrorists struck the Petit Cambodge Restaurant and Stade de France, in the latter location a match between France and Germany was in progress. Paris police also reported that an attack occurred at the Bataclan concert hall, where the American band the Eagles of Death Metal was performing. Apparently, coordinated attacks took place at more than five locations with the finger of suspicion pointing towards Islamic radicals of an undetermined organization. No group has claimed responsibility so far. Conjectures are easy in such a case, the question is specificity. It is no secret that the conflict in Syria and Iraq has its effects in Europe and it is also true that that a game of one-upmanship within the murky world of Islamic radicals is very much evident. One should have expected early claimants of responsibility but quite obviously the group responsible wishes to keep this in the area of grey for some tactical advantage. Allowing conjectures to develop is sometimes advantageous for such groups. On the face of it, it appears to be either a Daesh or an Al Qaida mission.”

The images and news of the Paris attacks will continue to haunt us for a very long time to come. All of us want justice for the victims, and will feel a personal sense of vindication when it happens. But the focus right now should be on avoiding a knee jerk reaction and ensuring that such attacks are nipped in the bud in the future. For now, all we can do is send our thoughts and prayers to France and stay together to show the world that the seeds of discord that the attacks were supposed to sow haven’t taken fruit.

 

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