when saying a lot still leaves you groping for words

imageIt’s very difficult to accept whatever motivations there are behind the attacks in Paris. It is hard to find words to describe the attacks. The people who have directly and indirectly participated in this mass slaughter will always find reasons to justify this event. If you say this is murder, they will say it is justice. If you say this was unwarranted and unprovoked, they will go back and raise the almost century-old hardship and suffering of people in the Middle East. The roots of what led to these attacks in Paris are complicated and many are borne of decisions made before most of us were even conceived. So what does the world do now? Extremism does not lend easily to diplomatic solutions. Diplomacy relies a lot on coming to an agreement that benefits conflicting parties or if such is not achievable – on the conflicting parties agreeing to a compromise that calls for some sacrifice by each side. But now – when you have IS, whose only goal is to establish a regional, if not global, Muslim caliphate at whatever cost, options for a negotiated resolution appear dim. Has humanity come to this? A zero-sum game where the only solution is the total annihilation of one side. Have we come to the clash of civilizations that was predicted by Samuel Huntington and does this presage the remaking of world order as he put it? France will hunker down. It will be closing its borders, limiting travel and curtailing some of the freedoms that its citizens enjoy. French citizens will say this is an attack on their way of life. France will fight back and lash out at those they feel is responsible for this attack. A precise and surgical response is probably not what’s on their mind right now. Which Western country will come next? Which will be the next target of this assault on “Western” civilization? Extremism breeds intolerance. Intolerance will make our world a world which will be less safe to live in. I have said a lot in this post yet at the same time I feel that I am at a loss for words…


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