I should be in bed, but I have to write something. Often I react to disasters by getting very analytical about them, trying to find some sense in them. I can just imagine Dr. McCoy cursing me out for it.
We’ll undoubtedly hear a lot that the killings in Paris were “senseless.” But they were well-planned and purposeful, not like someone shooting up a mall or theater on his own. It wasn’t a military objective, though, not an attempt to conquer or gain concessions in any direct way. The attacks will provoke backlash against Muslims, and the backlash is the key to the purpose.
We’re dealing with people who follow one of the most perverse concepts of God ever devised; one in which all human beings, including themselves, are just pawns to fulfill the deity’s aim of absolute power. Of course, God already has absolute power according to their doctrines, but that’s the kind of contradiction that very often comes with religion. If God didn’t need people’s help to achieve his aims, his followers wouldn’t have a purpose.
The killings targeted innocent people in order to provoke the greatest amount of rage, to generate violence against Muslims in Europe and more military action in the Middle East. Does that sound backwards? Consider the effect of the 9/11 attacks; the US launched an ill-considered war against Saddam Hussein, removing the secular dictator and opening the way for religious fanatics to grab for power. It was a huge success. I don’t think Bin Laden foresaw that specific result, just the opportunities that US retaliation would provide for grabbing power.
More hatred of Muslims in Europe will push more Muslims toward the most fanatical positions. More military action will do the same.
The people who do the actual killing may not have as strategic a view as the ones organizing it. They probably just believe they’ll get sex in heaven in payment for killing infidels.
If I’m right — I’m offering this just as my best hypothesis — it’s a very difficult thing to fight. Both increased and decreased military action seem to play into the jihadists’ hands. If someone could spell out what’s happening in a way that all could see, it would be a start, but we don’t have any leaders who show the ability to do that.
Am I making any sense? I should go to bed now, even though I haven’t edited this.