15 November 2015

Ce ne est pas une tragédie

It's not a tragedy. It is cold-blooded mass murder.
This past Friday afternoon, as I raced to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to catch an earlier train back to the 'Stan (which, in a shock to absolutely no one who has ever been subjected to Damntrak, was inexplicably delayed by more than 90 minutes shortly before its scheduled arrival), my Blackberry message light began gyrating like a Kardashian when any one of them catches even the slightest whiff of cash. Clearly, something unpleasant was afoot.

Message after message was pouring in from multiple sources about serious mayhem breaking out in Paris. Within minutes, those messages were followed by internal requests for tracking impacted employees. It was "GO TIME" for me and my team. Of course, being on the train whose wifi service is more of a casual suggestion than an actual functioning thing, I spent the next four and half fours trying to run reports when the wireless felt like working and trying to stay on top of the never ending messages racing through my Blackberry. Dread filled my mind as I thought about my friends who call Paris home. I thought about my last few trips to Paris, which have been some of the best I've had and I was deeply saddened. 'Not again,' is the refrain that kept repeating in my mind.

There was one thought that kept putting itself front and center in my thoughts as it was clear this was an act of cowardice terrorism:

"Ce ne est pas une tragédie."
"This is not a tragedy."

But more than 120 people were murdered senselessly, you say. How can you not call this a tragedy, you ask? By definition, the word tragedy means a lamentable, dreadful or fatal event. The massacre in Paris certainly meets the definition of a tragedy. It was, and is, so much more.

It is an outrageous act of cold-blooded mass murder.
It is cowardice in the name of God.
Can we please call a time out on invoking the name of God to justify, oh I don't know, murder?
It is blasphemy on an epic scale.
Where in the Qu'ran does mass murder get a pass? That would be no where. And this just isn't about the Qu'ran. While I'm no televangelist scriptorian nor do I play one on TV, I know my way, albeit just a little, around the Bible, and the last I checked, no where within its august pages do I find a ringing endorsement for mass murder on any scale.
It is a travesty, a perversion, of all that is still good in this world.

It is an act of war by a decentralized and, arguably, faceless army driven by ideology and it is terrifying. How do you "bomb the s$%#" out of an ideology? Still waiting, waiting, waiting for a cogent answer on that one, Mr. Trump but thanks, Donald, for keeping it classy as you always do. Ahem...

I'm afraid we are in this for the long haul. This will not be an easily won battle. I fear that we will see more of what we experienced this week in Paris and just a few days earlier in the streets of Beirut. We'll have to band together as we did in the days after 9/11 or as we have with the people of Paris in the last 24 hours. This must be our cause, our fight. We are human beings. We are better than this.

"Terrorism is contempt for human dignity." ~ Kjell Magne Bondevik

Me on the streets of Paris

Aujourd'hui, je suis français 
Today I am French

Je suis pour la paix
I am for peace

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