This is a great breakdown about the shit that just happened in France. I really don’t get too excited about any of this anymore…it’s just too tiresome and distracting…but a lot of what Sullivan saying is true, and the bit about the idea of this newspaper being printed on any American college campus is so true. So much of people screaming “How Dare You!!” everywhere. If our “young adults” here in college happened to read something like Charlie Hebdo, they would indeed need years of therapy as Sullivan suggests, and would likely be unable to support themselves or make meaningful life decisions until their mid 30’s…
All that being said, I think he and many others oversimplify the problem. Sure the NYT and CNN are spineless and full of shit, but there should be a space for people that want to try and understand why radical Islam is so pissed off. I think a lot of it is a frustration for how fucking backward their countries are, for (in many cases) being so reliant on oil exports and rich oligarchs, for being basically colonized by the west (and Israel) for the last hundred years, and then the disillusionment so many of them feel after actually going to the West and realizing the streets aren’t paved with gold.
People don’t just wake up one morning and decide to fly 747’s into buildings. There’s a Point A and a Point B and we’re ignoring the in-between because these crimes at Point B are so reprehensible and grotesque.
Unfortunately, whichever angle you look at the problem from, you’ll likely reach the same conclusion as Sullivan: that surveillance, torture, occupation, and patience is the only way forward to combat any of this. Humans are incredibly resilient when forced to change their way of thinking. In the West we’ve had the luxury of choosing to change. At this point and for the good of humanity, maybe it’s not all bad for some to be forced into it. The trick is to do this magnanimously and not be drawn into the Bush-era ideology of self-righteous “Nation Building”. We don’t need new puppet governments in the sand, we need folks to embrace new ways of viewing the world.