UPDATE: (Prior to initial publication) Diane is in Germany. The family is fine, as are all of their friends still residing in France.
Fabien is ok (500 km from Paris), but he remains concerned for friends and fans he has not yet heard from.
First, the good and semi-good news: Norman Spinrad has let us know via FB that he and Dona are ok. I’ve not yet received any bad news from Diane Severson nor from Fabien Lyraud, the two members of the Amazing Stories family who reside in France (Fabien is not in Paris, but Diane is). As soon as I can confirm their status, I will update this post.
The bad news: a very successful terror operation in one of the world’s major capitols.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of France and the citizens of Paris.
This morning, many in the US and indeed around the globe are voicing the opinion that we are now experiencing World War III. Not the nuclear armageddon that I and many of my classmates believed we’d experience, but certainly an internet, electronic era style version of it. One that is in many ways worse than watching the missiles fly, as it is not one single world-ending event, but rather a death by a thousand cuts.
Last nite, as events unfolded, I did a brief bit of research. More individual countries are directly and indirectly involved in this conflict than were involved in either World War I or World War II.
My gut tells me that the Paris attack was triggered, or a response to, the drone killing of “Jihadi John”. A brief survey of terror attacks (by ISIS, Al Qaeda and affiliated groups) has not shown any direct correlation, but I suspect that it is there, a tit-for-tat series of reprisals. I’ll be looking into that more as well.
Mr. Spinrad opines that what we are experiencing now is the direct result of Britain and France’s carving up of the middle east following World War I. (Anyone who has watched Lawrence of Arabia will be somewhat familiar with how badly the Arabs were used by the Western Powers during that period. Anyone who is familiar with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem’s alliance with NAZI Germany will understand that the relationship between Germany and The Arab Higher Committee (later, The Arab League) was at least in part engendered by post WWI politics – and that the Germans pretty much used them as badly as France and Britain had.) I agree with this statement. The Middle East has been in turmoil since the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire.
France’s President – Francois Hollande – has already called this incident an “Act of War”. If France decides to take action – which I think it will – it will more than likely be with a coalition of other Commonwealth countries and the US. It will involve boots on the ground,as the saying goes (or it will be futile. We must gird ourselves against the horrors to come). It will involve more of the same kinds of attacks as we saw in Paris in other urban centers around the globe. Security everywhere will be tightened.
Ultimately, there will be no long lasting solution, ground war or no ground war, until the ethnic and political mess that is the Middle East has been straightened out; Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, ethnic minorities, Christians and Jews will each have to be given a place they can call their own, some sense of security, some sense of opportunity. We here in the US must remain vigilant against both terrorism AND the threats to our civil rights that are so often the victim of the need to impose security.
On Monday I have to get on a plane.