You know what the Paris attacks would be called in the Arab world? Friday.
It seems a bit disingenous to see all the folks who are genuinely shocked that someone would want to slaughter civilians with machine guns. The people who think that the Parisian attacks are somehow unfair, a low blow, the utterly despicable acts of complete barbarians who, as terrorists, dare to play outside “the rules.”
Well, President Hollande had it right when he called the attacks “an act of war.” From this perspective, the violence begins to make some sense. I mean, let's remember that the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada and Australia, are bombing the snot out of Islamic State on a weekly basis. So when people are getting their legs and arms blown off by bombs dropped from our jets and drones, it's not a huge stretch to imagine them wanting to strike back and hurt us in some way. Paris wasn't attacked because IS hates the Eiffel Tower and baguettes. It was attacked because French jets are dropping bombs on IS towns and targets.
In other words, we're being just as explosively barbaric as the Parisian suicide crews. If you don't believe me, talk to the Muslim mother who saw her 6 year old explode into pieces because one of our drones fucked up and bombed a wedding. Oops. From such bloopers are new waves of jihadists born.
And since IS doesn't have tanks, jets, missiles, etc., what options does it have for making deadly mayhem? We just got a taste. Of course it's utterly despicable to have your soldiers shooting unarmed concert goers at point blank range. Of course it flies in the face of “the rules.” But here in the Age of Terror, what exactly are the rules? “All's fair in love and war.” Mercy is scarce. The Geneva what?
It's sobering to consider that Anyplace, USA, is now a potential target. It's sobering to consider that we all now live in the battlefield of this war. While wild-eyed jihadists seem to be hung up on the largest and most important cities for attacks, giving us northern Nevadans at least the illusion of relative safety (Why would international terrorists bother with Circus Circus?), it really wouldn't be all that shocking to see something violent occur in SF, LA or even Vegas. As far as IS is concerned, we are all fair game. Bummer.
But goddamn, let's also stop for a second and reflect on the fact that our country hasn't been hit by one of these nasty, bloody, Islamist suicide operations since The Big One, 14 years ago. This is really rather amazing, considering all the humans out there who don't like us. Who really, really, really, really don't like us. There was a lot of chatter a couple of weeks ago among Republicans on how Dubya kept us safe. A guy with an even better record in this department is Barry.