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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.