Saturday, November 14, 2015

On the Paris attacks and ISIS responsibility

I haven't posted anything to my blog since September, but the reactions that I have been reading in some leftist articles to the ISIS murders in Paris last night are infuriating me. The articles seem to focus on these themes: 1) Don't change your Facebook icon to the French flag because the French state is evil and has been doing evil things since the late 1700s. 2) Why are you so upset about what ISIS did? It's really all the fault of the US/UK/France because of Iran 1953/Iraq War/current attacks on ISIS in Syria or Iraq. 3) You weep for the dead of France but what about the dead of Beirut or Baghdad?

My answers:

1) France, like all nation states, has committed evil acts, both in the past and currently. However, when France joined the fight against ISIS, they did something good. ISIS is the enemy of all humanity.

2) The citizens of France and tourists visiting France do not deserve to die a horrible death because of the policies, good or bad, of the French state.

ISIS is guilty of their deaths, not anyone else. The members of ISIS chose to join a terrorist group, knowing that it engaged in terrible atrocities. They chose the path of evil.

People in Iraq who suffered from the American attack on Iraq have not, for the most part, become terrorists. It is not inevitable that those who are victims of a war will then choose to become terrorists and attack civilians.

Most of the victims of ISIS and Al Qaeda have been Muslims, both Sunni and Shi'ite. Both groups, especially ISIS, have a special hatred for Shi'ite Muslims. How is that the fault of the US, France, or the UK?

3) The articles that I have seen somehow avoid mentioning the other victims of ISIS - Yezidis and various Christian communities in Iraq, some of which have been there for 1800 years and are in the process of being driven out.

These articles also avoid mentioning the many dead of Syria, murdered by Assad - most of those murdered in Syria were killed by the Syrian regime, not ISIS.

They also assume that those of us who are upset about the murders in France don't care about the deaths of innocent people in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, or Palestine. Perhaps that is true of some people, but it's not true of me.

4) If we pay attention, many of these recent attacks are connected.

A) The bombings in Beirut on Thursday took place in the southern part of the city, which is controlled by Hezbollah, an ally of the Syrian regime. These two attacks murdered 43 people. According to Reuters, "The blasts occurred almost simultaneously late on Thursday and struck a Shi'ite community center and a nearby bakery in the commercial and residential area of Borj al-Barajneh, security sources said."

 Also according to Reuters, the bombing was committed by ISIS.
Islamic State said in a statement posted online by its supporters that its members blew up a bike loaded with explosives in Borj al-Barajneh and that when onlookers gathered, a suicide bomber blew himself up among them. The group said the attacks killed 40 people.
B) Two bombings yesterday in Baghdad were also been claimed by ISIS. The first attack, which killed 21 people, targeted a memorial service for a Shi'ite fighter who died fighting ISIS. The second attack, which killed five people, was at a Shi'ite shrine in Sadr City. This article is from ABC News.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites in Baghdad on Friday, killing a total of 26 people and wounding dozens. 
The attacks came as Iraqi Kurdish militias, backed by U.S. airstrikes, seized the town of Sinjar from the Islamic State group in a major blow to the extremists. Following its blitz last year, the IS — which splintered off from Iraq's al-Qaida branch — now holds about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate. 
The suicide bomber struck a memorial service held for a Shiite militia fighter killed in battle against IS in the Iraqi capital's southwestern suburb of Hay al-Amal, a police official told The Associated Press. That explosion killed 21 people and wounded at least 46, he said. 
The militia fighter was killed in battle against the militant group in Iraq's western Anbar province, the official added. 
Also Friday in Baghdad, a roadside bomb detonated at a Shiite shrine in Sadr City, killing at least five people and wounding 15, police officials said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to reporters. 
Since the emergence of IS extremists, Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks, with roadside bombs, suicide blasts and assassinations targeting Iraqi forces and government officials, with significant casualties among the civilian population. 
The violence has killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of Iraqis. 
Shiite militia fighters answered a call to arms last year after the country's highest Shiite religious authority, Ayatollah Ali al-Sisani, called on Iraqi men to defend the country. The militias, which later formed an umbrella paramilitary force called the Popular Mobilization Forces, have been an integral part in the battle against the Islamic State group, supporting Iraqi forces in battles in Salahuddin, Anbar and Baghdad provinces. 
In a statement distributed on pro-IS Twitter accounts, the Sunni militant group said the aim of Friday's attacks was "revenge for our monotheist brothers in al-Fallujah, al-Anbar, and Salahaldin," referring to ongoing Iraqi military operations to retrieve land lost to the IS in those locations.
C) The Russian plane that took off from Sharm al-Sheikh was probably destroyed by a bomb placed on the plane by someone from ISIS.

D) The attacks last night were done by ISIS fighters.


  1. Thank you for this--it is good to see a new post from you, even under these tragic circumstances.

  2. A wise and valuable comment: let's hear more from you, Rebecca, please.