Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Violent Weekend

 

Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country. As Yahoo Japan reports, “A Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”‘

This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions. It is most likely a response to last week’s announcement of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which followed the Chinese “deploying an oil rig off the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims, leading to physical clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.”

In other news of alliances, Russia conducted military exercises over a Lithuanian area of the Baltic sea, prompting the deployment of NATO fighter jets:

Russian missile training interrupted civilian shipping routes in a Lithuanian exclusive economic zone Monday for the second time this year, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry announced today….

Two Danish F-16 fighter aircraft were deployed. NATO’s Baltic air police responded from Amari Air Base in Estonia.

Also in the news this weekend was an alliance we declined to support. Among the groups fighting the rebellion against Bashar al-Assad in Syria is the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group known for beheading and crucifying its enemies. It has such a bloodthirsty reputation that it has even been disowned by Al Qaeda. New reporting by the Daily Mail indicates that the group comprises mostly non-Syrians, in particular… natives of Britain.

British jihadists make up the largest foreign contingent of one of the most violent terrorist groups in Syria, now infamous for beheading, crucifying and stoning to death enemies….

Almost two out of three of ISIS’ fighters are foreign-born and have chosen to join a group bent on creating an Islamic state in the war-torn country and Iraq.

Which brings us to Europe. On Saturday, a gunman killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum:

The man, whose face is concealed under a cap, can be seen in one video entering the building, taking a Kalashnikov automatic rifle from a bag and opening fire on his victims — an Israeli couple, a French woman and a young Belgian man….

Belgium launched a nationwide manhunt Sunday for the lone suspect in the shooting spree.

Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said that the shooter parked a car outside before entering the Jewish Museum in the swanky Sablon area of antique dealers, hip cafes and museums, “fired rather quickly, went outside and left.”

The museum said in a statement that the gunman came in, started shooting at the tourist couple at the entry “and then went on to the reception where he shot the attendant.”

Without a suspect, a motive cannot be inferred. But the attack is reminiscent of the 2012 shooting murders at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, by a native-born Muslim who deliberately targeted Jews.

And finally, we come to the US.

Hours after posting a terrifying YouTube warning, a murderous, misogynistic, 22-year-old virgin killed six people and wounded 13 more near a California college.

Elliot Rodger, the hate-filled son of a Hollywood director, vowed in his video to exact his bloody vengeance against the sorority women who rejected him and the men who succeeded where he so often failed.

 Then he set out Friday night to make good on his evil intentions — stabbing three men to death in his apartment before arming himself to the teeth and hopping into his black BMW to steal life from three others.

Rodger was found dead Friday night inside his luxury car after blasting away with a semiautomatic handgun at people on the street and local sheriff’s deputies.

After a roving gun battle with cops left him with a bullet to his hip, Rodger apparently shot himself in the head, authorities said.

Rodger apparently gave some warnings. In April, he posted some disturbing videos on YouTube, prompting his parents to call Elliot’s therapist, who then called the cops. But the cops didn’t watch the videos. They interviewed him and he seemed OK. “Rodger, writing in a manifesto, said he was relieved his apartment wasn’t searched because deputies would have uncovered the cache of weapons he used in the beach town rampage Friday in which he killed six people and then, authorities say, himself.”

Mark Steyn contrasts the rush to politicize the UCSB shooting with the unwillingness to acknowledge the political context of the Brussels shooting. And indeed, as Muslim attacks make Europe an increasingly untenable environment for Jews to live in, the official Jewish leadership seems to reserve its concern for “far right” European nationalist parties that are either neutral toward Jews or even philo-Semitic.

However, the problem we face is deeper than that. All across the globe, Western leaders suffer from a lack of imagination. They fail to identify the real enemies, the real culplrits, and the real causes. Silver bullets won’t work on complicated problems, so our leaders oversimplify. That way, they seem tractable. We can jaw jaw with our enemies and turn them peaceful, or so the thinking goes; we can ban the nasty guns and make our country peaceful too.

But violence is a part of the human condition, and a refusal to honestly grapple with reality does not make it go away. Believing in fantasies will do the opposite: It practically guarantees that things will get worse, both at home and abroad.

There are 13 comments.

  1. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLC Member
    Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLC Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Son of Spengler:

    Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country:

    As Yahoo Japan reports, a Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”

    This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions.

    Quite a bit of sabre rattling going on in that part of the world lately:

    Troops, tanks, trucks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers of China’s military were seen heading to the Vietnamese border on May 16 and 17, according to photographs taken by by residents near the border.

    Chinese netizens have been posting photographs of the large movement of the People’s Liberation Army, many of them showing Chinese troops in full combat gear heading to the local train station in Chongzuo, along with military vehicles.

    One netizen said the Chinese military was taking the train from the Chongzuo station to Pingxiang City, which shares a 60-mile border with Vietnam. The netizen said that the Huu Nghi Border Gate to Vietnam is also now closed.

     

    • #1
    • May 27, 2014, at 9:26 AM PDT
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  2. Kay of MT Member

    Less of the sabre rattling would be going on if America had a strong leadership with congress and American people behind them. Our big stick has turned into a noodle.

    • #2
    • May 27, 2014, at 9:50 AM PDT
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  3. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Good thing we’re cutting the military and finally getting around to building all those roads we were going to build in Recovery Summer 2009.

    If this cat were playing horseshoes, he’d break a pool cue over his own head. How the hell this guy was put in charge of anything where he might hurt himself – like being in charge of a stapler, say – is beyond me.

    • #3
    • May 27, 2014, at 5:45 PM PDT
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  4. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent. Thank you.

    • #4
    • May 27, 2014, at 9:56 PM PDT
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  5. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan in Seattle:

    Excellent. Thank you.

     I agree. Very good summary. 

    • #5
    • May 28, 2014, at 10:56 AM PDT
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  6. Boomerang Inactive

    James Of England:

    Susan in Seattle:

    Excellent. Thank you.

    I agree. Very good summary.

     I concur.

    I pray that we would once again have great leaders who are equal to the challenges and threats before us, and that means I also pray for the people to have the sense to elect them.

    • #6
    • May 28, 2014, at 12:00 PM PDT
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  7. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “But violence is a part of the human condition, and a refusal to honestly grapple with reality does not make it go away.”

    When I read that, I instantly remembered the Sunday after 9/11. Coincidence caused me to be attending a moderately liberal church rather than the usual. The place was packed, and the pastor had a very attentive audience. A golden opportunity, in other words.

    He blew it. His world view was simply, spectacularly irrelevant for the situation. In the face of real evil, instead of the usual litany of “causes”, he had nothing to offer in terms of comfort, advice or even warning.

    So, he took it in a narcissistic direction. I couldn’t believe it. He spent the whole sermon saying how inadequate he felt. Fine, we get it, you’re inadequate–maybe you could point us to Someone who is?

    It was a sad reminder of why I don’t attend churches captured by left-wing thinking.

    • #7
    • May 28, 2014, at 6:15 PM PDT
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  8. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler

    Boomerang: I pray that we would once again have great leaders who are equal to the challenges and threats before us, and that means I also pray for the people to have the sense to elect them.

    Fredösphere: So, he took it in a narcissistic direction…. Fine, we get it, you’re inadequate–maybe you could point us to Someone who is?

    At a certain level, I expect the polity to be ignorant, inattentive, sentimental, emotional, unserious. And at a certain level, I expect the political class to respond in its own self-interest, and cater to their prejudices. What I find most disappointing and depressing is the profound lack of seriousness among the thinking class — the writers and editors, teachers, clergy, academics, et al. These people help us understand the contours of our world, set the tone for popular discussion, advise our leaders, and cultivate the next generation. When they are blind to differences between cause and symptom, truth and falsehood, right and wrong — when they are so dishonest, to us and themselves — I despair. If we’re not going to learn from the experiences of the past, we’ll have to learn from our own painful mistakes.

    • #8
    • May 29, 2014, at 6:01 AM PDT
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  9. Joan of Ark La Tex Member

    I find it hard to believe the “thinking class” is intentionally lying, at least not from the outset. They are just not thinking. They simply embrace an unrealistic utopia vision and would compromise all means to reach this end, believing this end is reachable. It becomes complicated when the very nature of conservatism is to encourage freewill. Subtle influence rather than indoctrination. The communist world’s capitalistic sugar-coating tactics furthers their hope. So the memory of the communist murders are now almost forgotten. No one in Asia I know ever talks about Mao’s murder, for example. Instead, I hear often how China would soon overtake the USA. As if, something to be envied.

    It is not so much dishonesty as it is cowardice. It’s that lack of moral courage to not look at the ugly side of human nature. Consequently, I arrive in agreement with you that we shall have to learn our painful mistakes.

    • #9
    • May 29, 2014, at 6:39 AM PDT
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  10. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler

    Joan of Ark La Tex: I find it hard to believe the “thinking class” is intentionally lying, at least not from the outset. They are just not thinking. They simply embrace an unrealistic utopia vision and would compromise all means to reach this end, believing this end is reachable.

     Yes, I agree that intentional deception is not the norm. I had used the more general term “dishonesty” for that reason. But even so, the lying is there. Consider Michael Mann and the East Anglia emails; Thomas Piketty’s data fraud; Dan Rather’s slander of GWB. Jay Carney, a onetime journalist, has become a Baghdad Bob in the service of the administration. Christina Romer, as a member of Obama’s CEA (not a political role), was recruited to spout the administration’s misinformation on TV. Ezra Klein and his crew routinely edit the truth to the point where calling them liars may be appropriate; certainly they are dishonest.

    The idea of the noble lie has taken over the Left. Even if the cause were noble, though, that wouldn’t excuse the lies.

    That said, I think the more dangerous dishonesty is the one you mention — rampant self-delusion.

    • #10
    • May 29, 2014, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  11. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Son of Spengler: Silver bullets won’t work on complicated problems,

     But they do work on werewolves.

    Son of Spengler: But violence is a part of the human condition, and a refusal to honestly grapple with reality does not make it go away. Believing in fantasies will do the opposite: It practically guarantees that things will get worse, both at home and abroad.

     And this is the key point of it all.

    Yet we blame the victims for defending themselves, or for provoking the attack (perversely turning villains into victims).

    We blame the gun carriers for either being enablers, or for driving the villains to more destructive means (if you didn’t build that wall, I wouldn’t need to blow it up; if you didn’t carry that pistol, then I could just kill you with a knife).

    We blame “misunderstandings” instead of taking Islamic nutjobs at their word when it comes to killings Jews.

    To face reality means blaming ourselves for our lack of vigilance, taking responsiblity for securing our lives, and looking in the mirror and seeing that we all carry that seed of destruction.

    • #11
    • May 30, 2014, at 10:04 AM PDT
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  12. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler

    The connections among the news items I cited run deeper than I realized. The authorities have a suspect in custody for the Brussels shooting, and he reportedly trained in Syria as a member of ISIS:

    The French authorities announced Sunday that they had arrested a man in the killing of three people last month at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, identifying the suspect as a 29-year-old Frenchman with a long criminal history who had traveled to Syria last year to join with radical Islamist fighters there.

    The authorities said that they apprehended the man, identified as Mehdi Nemmouche, during a routine customs check on Friday as he arrived by bus in Marseille from Brussels. They said he was carrying an assault rifle and revolver matching descriptions of those used in the deadly shootings on May 24 at the museum in Brussels.

    French and Belgian officials said there was evidence linking Mr. Nemmouche to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, a jihadist group operating in Syria that until earlier this year maintained ties to Al Qaeda.

    • #12
    • June 2, 2014, at 8:40 AM PDT
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  13. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Son of Spengler:

    The connections among the news items I cited run deeper than I realized. The authorities have a suspect in custody for the Brussels shooting, and he reportedly trained in Syria as a member of ISIS:

     Worth remembering when people try to justify non-intervention in Syria on the basis that it doesn’t affect us. If we’d backed the FSA, there’s every chance this guy might not have lived to kill his Jews, and if we’d backed them early, there’s an even stronger chance that the Syrian AQ branches would never have gotten off the ground. 

    • #13
    • June 2, 2014, at 9:56 AM PDT
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