Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mort mathématique

L'abattage a été inscrit dans ces deux petites photos ordinaires, puis programmé mathématiquement, comme les tâches à accomplir dans un bloc texan d'exécution. Ces petits portraits du concerné sont aussi élémentaires que les lignes du programme. On n'inclut pas les cheveux du bonhomme car ceux-ci sont, pour ainsi dire, à côté de la plaque : à côté de la traque du fugitif, du condamné. Il suffit du strict minimum, ni plus ni moins. Anis Amri n'était plus un être humain comme vous et moi. Il était un symbole au milieu d'un processus mathématique.

Endroit où a été abattu Anis Amri, le 23 décembre, à Sesto [Daniele Bennati / AFP]

Un aspect pourtant humain de cette mise à mort programmée m'a rassuré. Les gènes de cet animal pourri ne seront pas transmis à des héritiers. Mais je dois poser tout de même une question évidente. Un assassin de ce type a-t-il réellement du « mal » dans les chromosomes ? La réponse à cette question troublante me transformerait sans doute en mauvais biologiste. C'est la vieille question entre l’inné et l’acquis. Je crois qu'il n'est pas né salaud. C'est son milieu qui lui a donné cet attribut. Mais je patauge forcément dans la semoule chaque fois que je me retrouve devant une telle question. Qu'à cela ne tienne. Le salaud a été neutralisé pour toujours.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Plus fort que la barbarie et la haine

Après l'acte terroriste, Angela Merkel pose des questions sur la survie de l'humanité: « Nous ne voulons pas vivre paralysés par la peur du mal. Comment pouvons-nous survivre lorsque nous avons une telle attaque qui a été perpétrée sur un marché de Noël? »

Nous ne devons jamais oublier, me semble-t-il, que dans l'histoire sur Terre d'Homo sapiens, les règnes de brutes barbares n'ont jamais mis fin à l'évolution inévitable de l'amour et de l'intelligence. Bien entendu, cette opinion paraît éphémère dans le cadre de l'horreur, et ne peut guère apaiser les gens qui souffrent. Le tunnel sera long et lugubre. Mais il y aura toujours de la lumière à l'autre bout.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

French police-woman

Dramatic interview of a brave young French police-woman, Magali, who was obliged to fire back at a terrorist at the wheel of a big truck in Nice on July 14, 2016. Clearly, Magali is still suffering deeply, and it's not certain that she'll be able to carry on her career.

Today, as the world looks back at September 11, and relates that terrible day to more recent happenings in Europe and elsewhere, I realize more than ever that the lives and thoughts of countless human beings throughout the world have been changed forever by our awareness of the horrors of terrorism. We must never forget.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bad bugger back on French soil

France's most-hated man, the 26-year-old terrorist Salah Abdeslam, is back on French soil, no doubt permanently. He was captured on 18 March 2016 at Molenbeek (Brussels).

As far as I can gather (which is never very far in this kind of context), the evil creature has been deposited in a particularly tough prison, Fleury-Mérogis, south of Paris. From this afternoon on, in the context of his new residence in France, the ugly pile of shit should wither away rapidly into oblivion. It is unlikely that Abdeslam will provide the world with any significant information.

Meanwhile, the moronic terrorist will be defended by a highly-reputed and courageous French lawyer, Frank Berton.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Abominable fellows

During my first voyage to Europe, in 1962, our Greek ship Bretagne dropped in at an exotic but desolate place named Aden.

Click to enlarge slightly

In those days, Aden (now known as Yemen) was still a British protectorate. As a naive young Australian, totally devoid of political intelligence (as is probably still the case for many of my fellow Australians), that short visit to Aden was akin to dropping in at DisneyLand on a day when there were general strikes and power cuts, and everything was topsy-turvy. I remember the archaic look of the dusty old town, and the presence of beggars and wounded people. Later, I talked about Aden with an imaginative Sydney friend, Richard O'Sullivan, who had developed the habit of referring to the township as "Limb Valley", meant to draw attention ironically to the striking presence of citizens who were missing an arm or a leg.

In those days, nobody imagined that scoundrels from that corner of the globe—from Somalia in particular, on the nearby shores of the isthmus—would soon decide to transform themselves, aboard flimsy vessels, into murderous pirates.

These days, in France, we're aware of this nasty form of terrorism, because French forces captured seven of these poor primitive bastards, who are now awaiting their sentencing in a Paris court of law.

Click to enlarge slightly

On 8 September 2011, in the Gulf of Aden, they attacked the pleasure craft of a French holiday-maker, Christian Colombo, skipper of the Tribal Kat, and murdered him savagely. I've always thought that it's hard to understand the presence of these seven stupid rogues, from far across the waters, in a great French law court in Paris. Later this afternoon, we shall inevitably learn that these seven fellows have been sentenced to many years in a French jail, where they'll stay until they rot. Now, that situation troubles me immensely. I have the impression that there's something wrong with the French legal system when it captures seven uncouth ruffians, out on the open seas, and brings them back here to the heart of France where they'll inevitably be thrown into chilly cells for the rest of their miserable lives. To my mind, there is little chance that these ruffians will truly grasp what has happened to them, and why. There's something perfectly normal in the idea of sentencing such criminals to harsh punishment, if only to prevent them from repeating their crimes. But I persist in believing that something has gone wrong, and that those idiots don't really deserve to be subjected to that kind of handling. They certainly needed to be captured, sentenced and punished. But maybe differently... whatever that might mean. (I'm deliberately vague, because I really don't know the answers to the questions I'm raising.)

In my previous blog post, I evoked a splendid human theme: the Sermon on the Mount. I'm curious to know how the author of that monumental message—human, too human—would have expected us to deal with Daesh terrorists and Somali pirates...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Murder of Christians in Pakistan

This hallucinating photo shows a devastated Pakistani mother who has just learnt that her son died in a terrorist bombing at Lahore.

Click here to access a British newspaper website with dramatic images of the slaughter perpetrated on Sunday by a Taliban suicide-bomber.

In a distant city on another continent, the New York artist Liza Donnelly has used simple strokes of her pencils to express the universal grief of Humanity's maternal civilization.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Back to the apes

The domination of the power of fire was a huge step in the history of humanity. Today, alas, certain barbarian brutes are setting out backwards along the evolutionary path.

Biographical notes from the website of Cartoon Movement: The Egyptian Doaa Eladl worked as a cartoonist in Al Dostor newspaper, Rose Al Youssef Magazine and Sabah El Kheir Magazine. She currently works at the prominent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. In the field of illustrations for children, she contributed in Qatr El Nada, Alaa-ElDin and Bassem Magazines. In 2009 she received the award of journalism excellence in Caricature.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Three days that shook France

It’s not easy to people outside France about the role in contemporary French society of a press organism such as Charlie Hebdo, and the immense sadness and fury of countless citizens when they see that a team of celebrated cartoonists has been decimated by dumb cunts armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, followed by the slaughter of innocent Jewish shoppers in Paris buying Shabbat supplies. Judging from world reactions to these tragedies, I gather though that countless observers in other nations realize fully what a shock this has been inside France. Some strongly symbolic images have reached us from abroard. In particular, there was Barack Obama visiting the French Embassy in Washington and finishing his written statement with Vive la France!

The slain cartoonists would have been greatly amused by this image of Times Square:

And this solemn tribute from the United Nations headquarters:

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was plunged into darkness as a sign of respect.

Among the 17 innocent victims, there were two in particular, Charb and Cabu, who had become the celebrated champions of satirical cartooning in France. We looked upon them as talented and lovable individuals, and it was unbearable to learn that they had died in such a stupid and brutal fashion.

Charb’s illustrations of Mahomet had maddened the Islamic killers, who were far too coarse and brutish to understand, let alone appreciate, our everyday concepts of satire.

The cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo never ceased to make fun of pompous adepts of the three so-called monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The cartoonists considered—and it was their right to have and express such opinions—that the pages of the so-called holy books would make good toilet paper.

But I was always immensely impressed (as a keen student of the history of Judaism and Christianity) by the perspicacity of Charb’s awareness of the fine points of the subjects that he satirized, particularly in his albums on Mahomet (created with the assistance of a lovely lady named Zineb El Rhazoui).

A few months ago, I had contemplated contacting Charlie Hebdo to see if I might be able to collaborate upon the translation of the Charb/Zineb albums into English. Today, I believe more than ever that English editions of these albums should be published.

Today, throughout France, the proportions and intensity of public reactions to the horrible events of the last three days have been overwhelming. Never before has there been anything like it in France. And tomorrow, in Paris, the spectacle is likely to be utterly gigantic… with the presence of many foreign heads of state.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


After this morning’s outrageous attack in Paris, the time has come to stop talking about Islamic actors in fuzzy terms. They are crazy homicidal outlaws, and must be treated as such.

As they said in the legendary Far West: WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE. Dead is definitely safer. Their distinguishing feature is a war cry: Allahu Akbar. God is greatest. If you hear somebody yelling out this war cry, don’t bother putting on white gloves and trying to reason with him, because he's almost certainly of a suicidal nature. Simply aim at his head and shoot! God (his or your’s, no matter) will protect you, and you might well have succeeded in eliminating yet another crazy Islamic bugger from the surface of our planet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sydney loony

Here in France, as elsewhere, Sydney’s terrible ordeal was front-page news, and we could follow events in real time, not only through the Internet, but on French TV news. At an early stage of the affair, I was impressed by a short video by a Wollongong academic, Adam Dolnik, who pointed out that the armed guy with hostages in the Lindt coffee shop on Martin Place was surely a lone loony, rather than a dyed-in-the-wool Islamic terrorist, because the dumb bugger hadn’t even been able to turn up with the appropriate “Islamic State” flag for his evil purposes.

As the day wore on, and fragments of information started to appear concerning the guy’s criminal background, I couldn’t understand (and I still don’t) why Australian media refrained from even hinting at his identity. After all, this dangerous fruitcake had become a minor media celebrity in Sydney… and I even stumbled across a Wikipedia page [click here] concerning the fake sheikh.

A photo of the Lindt window, flashed throughout the world, displayed an extraordinary juxtaposition of contrasting elements: the sort of image that will surely go down in the annals of news photography.

In the early hours of a sad morning, we learnt that there were two innocent martyrs: Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.

I've just watched a fine video summary of the tragedy, from Channel 7, entitled Window two, hostage down. [I refrain from trying to provide a workable link to this video, but you might be able to use the title to access it.]

This calamity unfolded in a Sydney street, Martin Place, that was transformed long ago into a sanctuary devoted to the victims of warfare. On the eve of the centenary of Gallipoli, the Islamic loony committed a senseless crime whose consequences will be etched forever—in the spirit of this place—in the memory of the nation.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It could happen here or elsewhere

Today or tomorrow... We won't be asked to choose a date.

Brilliant exposé of everyday threats. Our ubiquitous enemy is …

Saturday, October 6, 2012

London's Islamic bogeyman

As a boy in the northern London suburb of Islington, my grandfather Ernest Skyvington [1891-1985] used to play in Finsbury Park, while dreaming about going out to Australia in one of the steamships associated with his uncle William Mepham, and riding horses.

In those days, of course, there was no such thing as an Islamic mosque in the vicinity of Finsbury Park. And young Ernest would have never risked running into a grey-bearded personage in dark sunglasses with a steel hook for a right hand.

As of today, like my grandfather, Abou Hamza has changed continents. But it's America, not Australia, that has received this 54-year-old Egyptian guy as a guest, after a marathon legal battle of eight years. Besides, I don't imagine that Abou Hamza is likely to be doing much horse-riding in the USA. As a naturalized British citizen, this frail would-be terrorist will have ample opportunities of explaining to his American hosts why he's really a nice guy: a kind Islamic soul, as harmless as a lamb.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gunman's siege in Toulouse

Like millions of spectators throughout France (and the world at large, no doubt), I've been fascinated by the still-unfolding case of 24-year-old Mohamed Merah, holed up in a Toulouse flat encircled by police. In French terrorist history, the despicable crimes carried out by the alleged assassin were of a new kind. He used a powerful weapon to kill three off-duty soldiers, a young rabbi and three innocent children, by firing into their heads at point-blank range. For the last day and night, the determination of French authorities to capture Merah alive has given rise to a weird siege, of a totally new kind in France.

Why is it so important that Merah be captured alive? First and foremost, we might say that the moral principles of the French Republic have never accepted (at least not in theory) the idea of getting rid of an annoying suspect by simply killing him. But the real reason for hoping desperately that Merah survives the siege is the idea of being able to examine him at length, and study all the details of his background. We need to understand why and how a relatively normal youth, born in Toulouse, could be transformed into a brutal Al-Qaeda-style terrorist. Curiously, Merah was not reputed to have led the life of an Islamic fundamentalist. On the contrary, this video (of a year and a half ago) shows him having fun in an automobile:

In view of the absence of any reactions whatsoever from Merah over the last few hours, observers are starting to wonder if he hasn't already committed suicide. Meanwhile, half an hour ago, the French minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé admitted on the Europe 1 radio that Merah's case suggests that weaknesses may have existed within the security services: "I understand that people can ask the question of whether or not there was a loophole. Since I don't know whether there was a loophole, I can't talk to you about its nature. But this question needs to be clarified."


[11 am French time] Police of the RAID unit apparently broke into Merah's flat about a quarter of an hour ago, but there's not yet any news about whether or not the suspected killer is still alive.

[11.35 am French time] After an intense gun battle that lasted for five minutes, AFP announced that the suspect had been mortally wounded.

The death of Mohamed Merah in a lengthy gun battle with police, while wielding a Kalashnikov, was the worst possible scenario, for there's a chance that he might appear as a heroic martyr to certain observers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is this guy crazy?

It's not unlikely that the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik is in fact "crazy"—as his lawyer Geir Lippestad is starting to suggest—and that "he lives in a bubble" where he depends upon pharmaceutical products in order "to be strong, to be efficient, to be awake". OK, fine (yawn). Let's suppose, then, that he's a lethally dangerous former citizen of a finely civilized Scandinavian society. The next question is: What should be done with this creature?

As I stated clearly in a previous post [display], he must be examined profoundly, clinically, above all, for his case and condition might alert us to future risks. The concept of punishment is anathema… but Breivik must be sentenced to silence. Society neither wishes nor needs to listen to a syllable of anything that this nauseating blond Viking might vomit.

The rest of the civilized world will be awaiting Norway's honest analysis of what might have gone wrong in their harboring such an individual—apparently unknowingly—in their midst. Maybe we're all potential lunatics capable of destroying everything that's precious. Personally, I've never been anguished nor even intrigued by such an idea, which I look upon as totally false, indeed ridiculous. Whenever I touch the tender head of one of my dear dogs, Sophia or Fitzroy, I'm profoundly aware that they are precious but fragile treasures, who must never be harmed, who must be caressed forever, and that the potential violence of my giant human paws must be controlled, and intelligently restrained. My dogs are not mad animals, fit to be killed by a madman... and neither am I. If Breivik's sick brain thinks otherwise, then researchers in psychology and neurophysiology must try to determine what has happened. What was it that apparently transformed this Norwegian citizen into a monster?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

US vision of the future

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, President George W Bush instigated a process aimed at overhauling the US intelligence system. In 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who took over some of the government and intelligence functions that had previously been handled by the time-honored CIA. As of a month ago, the DNI is Dennis Blair, appointed by Barack Obama.

I was gladly surprised to discover that we can obtain, for free, a 120-page document entitled Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, presenting the profound thoughts of this office concerning the future of our world. Just click this image and follow instructions:

Before starting to read this fascinating report, make sure you've understood the significance of the acronym BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China], which reappears constantly.

The report is good reading in that it highlights the fragility of US thinking. We've always known that the giant has feet of clay. But it's alarming to discover that maybe his brain, too—his so-called "intelligence"—is made out of porcelain.

In the vulgar verbiage of the authors of this futuristic fairy story, Europeans will be "losing clout" in 2025. I feel like giving a sharp clout on the snout of the dumb Yank who wrote such rubbish. The notorious CIA (which reports henceforth to the DNI) has made so many blunders, however, that we might expect a certain amount of US intelligence drivel for some time to come. It's not tomorrow that we'll be removing the inverted commas from "US intelligence". But I insist upon the fact that this nice bedtime reading can be freely downloaded. It won't even cost you what it's worth: peanuts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

American torturers

Now that Barack Obama has released explicit data concerning the use of torture by US authorities, I'm convinced that, sooner or later, the American torturers—including the highest-ranking individuals who were responsible for condoning these horrors—will be brought to justice and punished. It's unthinkable that this sordid affair will simply fade away. It's only a matter of time...

After all, certain nations are still actively pursuing criminals whose acts were committed during World War II. Why should civilized societies simply wipe the slate clean concerning well-documented acts of barbarity that date from a few years ago?

BREAKING NEWS: An article, this morning, in The New York Times echoes precisely my feelings in this domain. It states that "new revelations are fueling calls by lawmakers for an extensive inquiry into controversial Bush administration programs". John Conyers, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has evoked explicitly the idea of prosecuting senior Bush administration officials and lawyers at the Justice Department who condoned torture tactics. In any case, it's already becoming clear that, in years to come, George W Bush will be identified primarily—by students, journalists, historians and ordinary people throughout the world—as the US president who allowed officially the use of torture by interrogators. And Tony Blair and John Howard will be remembered mainly (if at all) as acolytes of this dumb US president.

Anecdote. To illustrate this blog article, I've selected the familiar photo of orange blobs of humanity planted like plaster dwarfs in a Guantanamo "garden". Last night, on the TV news, journalists illustrated their story on Obama's release of CIA data (designated in a prominent French daily as a "half measure") by a wide sampling of the stock of torture images. That's to say, French families and their kids, while finishing their evening meal, were treated to images of water torture, dogs snarling at inmates, the notorious female guard pointing jokingly at a mass of naked prisoners, the hooded man with outstretched arms in an electrified cloak, evoking a dead Christ taken down from the cross, etc.

The time has come to say things simply and clearly, so that our children will know and remember the truth. Bush authorized torture!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quiet guy

Although Obama was elected a fortnight ago, Osama still hasn't said a word about it. This situation is unexpected, frustrating, disturbing...

Maybe Osama's Internet is temporarily down, preventing him from getting out messages to the world. Or maybe he's switching from a Windows PC to Linux or a MacBook, and he's still working at getting his learning curve up to an operational level. We cannot of course exclude the possibility, as strange as it might appear, that bin Laden is no longer interested in America. He might simply be lazy, or away from his cave office on an extended vacation with his wife and kids.

Although Barack Obama is not the kind of fellow who shows his emotions, I'll bet he's furious to realize that Osama bin Laden hasn't reacted yet in any way whatsoever to the US presidential elections. It's just not right. We all feel that Osama has a moral responsibility to say something—no matter whether it's positive or negative—about Obama's victory. This notorious guy can't just sit silently there in his cave, somewhere in the vicinity of Pakistan, and act as if nothing has been happening in the outside world. Besides, why doesn't Osama bin Laden have a personal blog, like every other self-respecting Citizen of the World? Don't try to tell me they don't have good broadband connections (at least as good as those of my native Australia) up in that corner of the wilderness. If these terrorist chaps can master the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, they should have enough hi-tech know-how to install fiber optics links for Internet. Or, as former CIA field officer Robert Baer mused in his TIME article on this mystery [display]: Why doesn't Osama simply burn a DVD with up-to-date messages and videos? The best stuff could then be displayed through YouTube.

There is, of course, another explanation. It's quite possible that America's bogeyman, Osama bin Laden, is in fact dead and buried... in which case the cessation of trying to track down his ghost might coincide harmoniously with the long-awaited withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

BREAKING NEWS: I'm delighted to learn that Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, seems to have read my blog during the night (unless he happens to have other other sources of information and inspiration), for he has just made a public declaration concerning Barack Obama, labeling him—if I understand correctly the Arabic, which I don't—a "Negro house slave". Nice concept, a little dated...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ask questions

It's fashionable for politically-correct observers to suggest that adepts of conspiracy theories of all kinds are necessarily deranged, or evil. Here in France, an accusation of this kind has just hit the comedian Jean-Marie Bigard, who may or may not have known what he was talking about when he suggested recently that the official 9/11 story might not be true. Personally, I know no more about 9/11 than Bigard or his critics, but I'm prepared to listen to all the evidence. The main reason why 9/11 continues to intrigue us is that George W Bush said it was a crime committed by Bin Laden, but nobody has ever succeeded in capturing the accused and bringing him to justice. Why not? Curious absence of action. As long as that unhealthy situation persists, we have the right—indeed the obligation—to be doubters.

Please sit down calmly, set aside your everyday beliefs about 9/11 and Bin Laden, click the following image and watch this didactic movie:

I cannot tell a priori whether the themes of this movie are plausible, honorable, factual or pure bullshit. It's not within my competence to reach conclusions on such matters, and it would be unacceptable if I were to express the least opinion of this kind. But I affirm that we all have the right and the obligation, in the context of such an extraordinary unfinished affair as 9/11, to examine all the available evidence and viewpoints.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tense frustrations concerning Colombian hostages

We must understand that it's normal for the promised transfer of hostages of the Colombian Farc to be subject to all kinds of more-or-less unexpected delays and obstacles. We're not playing a polite diplomatic game among gentlemen. Everybody knows perfectly well that, if ever regular Venezuelan and Colombian political powers and armies were capable of detecting the slightest breach in the defensive system of the Farc, they would exploit it instantly, and blast the arse off these arrogant outlaws. So, the outlaws have every reason to be ultra-wary.

Needless to say, like every other citizen of the world concerned by the struggle for the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt, I hope sincerely that the bloody Farc will screw up something or other, and get blasted into eternal oblivion. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

They're not honorable guerillas, merely mindless outlaws, inhuman jungle vermin... like some of my ancestral bushrangers (not to mention any names).