Paris in the fall

A cold, heartless person, such as myself, would observe that the death toll in yesterday’s terror strikes across Paris aggregated to about one downed airliner. This is certainly news, but not on the scale the media are reporting. The attackers wanted a lot of attention. The media have provided it for them. Paris went in lockdown, and under curfew for the first time since the Second World War; the borders of France were to be sealed as part of a “declaration of urgency” by the President of France, who also put troops in the streets. Though in fact, it was less than two thousand troops, and the borders of France cannot be secured. (Hence the climbdown from the Interior Ministry an hour or two later; the few guarded entry points would instead be “tightened.”)

I looked last evening through Twitter to watch my old journalist friends ululate, in 160 characters or less. I look this morning through the front pages of the French press. C’est la guerre! they all declare. And of course, they are kidding themselves. No army is mobilizing, although the police are perhaps a little busier than usual.

Ditto, the innumerable declarations of “Solidarity with France!” from the preening politicians, all over the world. With all this publicity, they want some for themselves. My compliments to President Obama, who in the course of one of his posturing displays, at least said he had not called President Hollande, guessing the man did not need distractions. (“Those who think they can terrorize France are wrong,” he said: the contrary being obviously true.)

After the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January, I was so vulgar myself to note that the great outpouring of crowds, boasting, Je suis Charlie! — was the most counter-productive tactic available. They gave the Muslim terrorists exactly what they wanted: a national, nay, international display of wet narcissism. This is how the post-Christians demonstrate their effeteness: with a parade to celebrate their self-esteem.

Why don’t they just go home and make babies?

For it is not their own grief; it is appropriated. Those who lost family and friends have legitimate cause to grieve. Condolences should be sent, where appropriate. The other millions are putting on a show.

Perhaps I am obtuse to be less excited. It is bad when an airliner goes down, I acknowledge. It is bad when as many die in cars, over the course of an average U.S. weekend; or it was bad when some portion of a million were killed in the Battle of Verdun. Yet somewhere in the back, the sun was still shining.

Don’t get me wrong; Islamic terrorists should be squashed like bugs. But this should be done as discreetly as possible. Indeed, I don’t mind if they are not Islamic: any similar enemy should be dealt with the same. But our publicity is their recruiting device; and in practice, it is the means by which — in multicultural political correctness — the Muslim community is accorded ever greater “respect.”

The Catholic community, for example, gets none, for consistently better behaviour. Perhaps turn Opus Dei into a paramilitary, on the model of the Daesh, and Catholics will be better accommodated by the liberals. For as I’ve written elsewhere, the liberal mind instinctively rewards criminal behaviour.

In practice this would not work, however, owing to the law of alliances. (“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”) For the Western liberal, and the Muslim psychopath, have something more deeply to share: opposition to what remains of Christian civilization. The one might promote sexual perversion, the other stone it; the one wants women stripped of their modesty, while the other wants them in sacks; but their respective radicals make common cause on every university campus. It is a matter of indifference to the Devil which tactics to employ. Whatever works. His object is to undermine human decency.

His strong suit is, that evil is contagious.

It was the wisdom of our ancestors to maintain moral vigilance, within the framework of a coherent moral order, founded upon natural reason and the Christian revelation. Both are largely abandoned today, or rather, have been “progressively” inverted.

For a brief moment, reality cuts through, as it did in the days after 9/11. The idea that there is such a thing as evil, which cannot be stopped by a few choice words, is once again discerned. But that is only for a few days or weeks: by Christmas, all the liberal fantasies had been restored, and the cause of all the trouble was once again, “Bush.”

Is it not, gentle reader, a monstrous observation, that the dead in Paris amount to the loss in one crashed, mid-size commuter jet? That we have often seen, and will see again, “much better than that”? Would it not be extremely tasteless to write of, “two Muslim kids with Kalashnikovs and a captive audience”? (It is true, I am rather insensitive.)

They wanted publicity. So we gave them publicity. We give them whatever they want.

Ste Geneviève, patronne de Paris, priez pour nous!