Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Charlie Hebo

Mein Gott! 44 was correct in this case when he LOL'd the future doesn't belong to cats who insult the PBUH guy

The satirical weekly has been the target before, having been fire-bombed back in late 2011 after running a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed and its editor has been under police protection for some time. Even though a target of Islamist ire, the magazine has not shied away from running other stories and cartoons offensive to Muslim sensibilities. Just this week it ran a cover story on a new book that imagines a future France in which the country is led by an Islamic party and has a Muslim president who, among other things, bans women from the workplace. 

No doubt also worrying French officials is that, unlike the recent terrorist attacks in Quebec and Ottawa in October or the one in London in May 2013, the attack on the Paris magazine office Charlie Hebdo was, it appears, well-planned and done with skill.

But what will be something of a surprise to the French is that the attack took place at all. Since the mid-1990s, and after a decade of terrorism on its streets, Paris has not seen a major terrorist attack.  As written in 2007 (“France: Europe’s Counterterrorist Powerhouse”) and in Safety, Liberty and Islamist Terrorism: American and European Approaches to Domestic Counterterrorism, France had been, especially before 9/11, in a “league of its own” when it comes to developing investigative tools, court proceedings, and laws that have allowed French authorities to stay ahead of the terrorist problem. 

This aggressive stance has of course upset civil libertarians of the French left and right—not unlike here in the U.S. in the wake of the Snowden leaks of the programs of the National Security Agency.  

As the U.S. Congress turns this year to the issue of whether to renew, reform, or let die key sections of the Patriot Act on terrorism surveillance, it might want to keep in mind what has just happened in Paris. If a country such as France—with as strong a counterterrorism effort as there is in a liberal democracy—is still vulnerable, it should give some pause to those members who think now is the time to water-down our own counterterrorism efforts.


Evel Boll Weevil said...

But what will France's version of justice be even if they catch the gunmen and convict them? France always seems to find a way to defy common sense and make things worse.