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Thoughts on Paris, France

November 16, 2015 3 comments

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On a fall Saturday afternoon, my thoughts and attentions were focused on college football. My OSU Buckeyes were marching toward another undefeated season. In addition, it was separation Saturday in the Big 12, as their conference juggernauts continued to beat up on each other, looking to get into the playoffs through attrition. It was yet another big day in a season chocked full of big days in the NCAA. Then, after a few games, the reality of the day struck me like a huge, wet fish slap to the cheek: Paris was under attack from terrorist. Over a hundred people were already dead, and France was under martial law. It felt as if I was watching another terrorist cell movie based on a Tom Clancy novel. It was horrific.

Of course, reaction and retaliation was swift: France started bombing sites in Syria. Borders in many countries were closed. Mosques were shut down, pending investigations into their attendees. Security was beefed up for major events around the world. Paranoia has once again become prevalent, if indeed it has ever faded since 9/11. When and where does this end?

The basest and most animal parts of my brain screams “attack and protect”, as it does in the collective war hawk, lizard brain mentality. However, as history has shown, retaliation begets retaliation. Violence only spurs on more violence. How many people have to die before we actually figure that out? We need common sense solutions, not more dead innocents.

I’m not saying that everything getting done is wrong: Beefing up security at public events? Yes. Better security checks on refugees? Sure. Finding the rest of this terrorist cell, and bringing them to justice? Absolutely. However, bombing an already war torn country? Not a solution. Closing your borders? Borders were closed to Jewish refugees during WWII, and millions died. Closing Mosques? Not the answer.

I don’t know what the answer is: Unfortunately, I’m not that smart. Even if I did have the answer, no-one would listen to a part time pacifist blogger from East Jesus, Ky. I do know that killing more people, blowing up more shit, and restricting the practice of any religion is not the answer. Ask the families and friends of those killed on Saturday in France. Ask the families and friends of those who were bombed out of existence in civil war decimated Syria on Sunday.

I feel horrible this happened. I feel horrible for what is going to happen still. This isn’t over, not by a long shot. I don’t think that anyone in power wants it to be over. There is too much power and money to be had peddling fear and paranoia. You can take that much to the bank, if security will let you through.