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We'll Always Have Paris, Wont' We?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 17/11/2015 Nora Dunn

I have barely allowed myself to watch much news in the wake of the attacks in Paris. I am too sad to hear the phony, self serving remarks of those who want to capitalize on it. Is there such a lack of dignity in this country that we have forgotten what it means to take offense, real offense, at how low some will sink to make a buck or get attention. We've been anesthetized by dumb realty TV shows, twenty-four-hours and seven-days-a-week of "breaking news", celebrity gossip, and TV violence. The new show, Supergirl, took this week's episode off the air because it showed bombings that they felt were insensitive. They will hold them off until next week.
It did not take long for some American governors and candidates to say we should not take in the Syrian refugees as promised, the governors saying they won't allow it. Why must we abandon our principals in the name of fear? Why is that that those who claim to be Christ-like can't live up to Christ's principals when the challenge seems too tough. Nope. When the going gets tough, these Christians get weak in the knees.

In the few moments I've let myself watch the news I heard enough of what I expected from Donald Trump as he postulated in front of a huge flag claiming that the US was allowing "hundreds of thousands" of Syrians into the country, many that he claimed he has seen and are big and strapping, and should be in Syria fighting the bad guys. Last week Mr. Trump was talking about forming an army to root out illegal Mexican immigrants. One wonders when he will a propose a new plan to root out Muslims.
Actually, we are allowing ten thousand desperate refugees into the country as a gesture of humanity, on behalf of the worse refugee crisis since WWll, and only 2% of them are of actual fighting age. They have all been vetted, though the fear mongering governors and candidates claim they have not been. None have asked, so far, if we are vetting travelers from Belgium where these and other major terrorist bombings were planned and where weapons dealing to terrorist is rampant because of their weak gun control laws.
But after tragedies like this, when there are votes to be gained, who cares about the facts or about basic human compassion?
The devout Christian, Ben Carson, wants to stop the refugees from coming in as well. He must have asked Christ what he would do. Ted Cruz wants to let in only refugees who can prove they are Christians. Maybe take a biblical quiz? He didn't say if they had to be compassionate Christians, however.
Some are blaming, of course, our weakling president for not coming out for bombing the hell out of Syria, getting rid of the bastards, and putting boots on the ground. I for one am glad we have a leader who doesn't make his decisions when someone jerks his knee. There are still brave people in Syria fighting ISIS and fighting Assad and this week they have gained important ground. ISIS is losing the war in Syria, and will continue to lose the more we bomb them with airstrikes aimed at their strong holds and not at the people who are fighting them.
So far, 76% of Americans do not want to send troops to Iraq. It seems we have had enough of that folly. This war belongs to all of our allies, not just us. And when those who are seeking office talk about boots on the ground, they are never talking of there own, it seems.
I have to admit I have heard only one sound bite from Hillary Clinton, who says we have to destroy ISIS, not contain them. I won't take that to the bank tomorrow. No candidate right now is going to say anything, it seems, that really addresses the problem because that takes more than a sound bite.
So far, no one has suggested we send troops to Belgium or stop flights from that country.
Meanwhile, Parisians are mourning. But they are not cowering as they weep. France was spared the bombing London and other European cities suffered during WWII, but they were occupied and their resistance movement stood up against the worse band of organized sadist ever assembled. If any nation is a symbol of perseverance, France has been. I believe they will continue to cook well and eat well and sing and create. Paris will never give up on itself nor on its way of life. And though I don't blame them for bombing Syria, it won't solve the problem. Vengeance is not going to stop the recruitment of young men into ISIS and we all know it.
ISIS is a complex problem. In American we still haven't figured out the phenomenon of young white males committing mass murder, mostly with weapons they got their hands on legally. Has anyone tallied the dead from those terrorist attacks? Perhaps the recruitment of mostly brown skinned young men into violent organizations is somehow linked to the reason mostly white skinned young men are gunning down church members and students and theater goers.
I don't know.
All I know is that in the face of hatred, the best answer isn't more hatred. ISIS is in the middle east and is busy killing muslims and anyone else in the path so going after muslims as the problem may offer an easy out but it's an ignorant one. When there's a problem that is really complex, bad leadership will offer you something easy and certainly something macho, but muscle won't work with this problem. It's going to take smarts and patience and time.
Eight people carried out the acts of terror in Paris, not 50,000 boots on the ground. It was sixteen boots, if you count each foot. And The United States was bombed on September 11 with its own airplanes. It didn't take ground troops and it was preventable.
One person in Aurora Colorado shot 72 people in a movie theater. One person shot and killed 26 at Sandy Hook. One shot and killed 32 at Georgia Tech. One shot and killed nine church goers in South Carolina. And on and on and on. We are not asking for ground troops in America for that problem because we know that it won't work.
Weapons are the biggest selling items on the planet and seem to be an obsession here in America. Where are the terrorists getting theres?
I'm no expert and all I know are my feelings on what we've experienced since 9/11. The night after that happened, I wanted to go to war with whoever did it. And if who had attacked us was a traditional army with a country, I can't say I would not have wanted a traditional war. Iraq was the wrong response, and I think it started the problems we are having now. This war is not traditional and we can't fight it with what we see in old war movies.
Why must we lose our hearts and more of our dignity in the name of ISIS by denying the Syrian refugees refuge? Aren't we brave enough to be compassionate? Love isn't easy. Love take courage. But it's powerful stuff and it's what Christians claim they are made of. So prove it, Christians.
America is a democracy. At least we are trying to be one. So when standing up for our principals gets tough, why do we become so weak? Those who promise us leadership want to abandon the whole idea of America when there's a problem, when its challenged. But without our idea who are we? The principals of America, the things we fight for, are about equality and fairness and for standing up for those in trouble. Our idea takes courage.
It doesn't take much to see that the problems of a three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but maybe the problems of ten thousand people fleeing the horrors wrought by a mutual enemy does.
We'll always have Paris, won't we? Think so, if we do the right thing.

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