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The Nightmare Won’t End in Toulouse

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Posted on Mar 21, 2012
AP / Remy de la Mauviniere

A makeshift shrine has been set up at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, France, where a gunman killed four people Monday. A father and his two sons were among the dead. The sign reads “in expression of our sympathy, the inhabitants of the area.”

By Barry Lando

(Page 2)

Of course, anything is possible as we’ve seen in the U.S. since 9/11, and we can be sure in the current superheated political climate in France, we’ll hear the most extreme demands.

You can also be sure that any massive crackdown will only further increase the alienation of young Muslims.

And, in the end, there will almost certainly be plenty of bloody-minded young men and women who will slip through the net.

How about dealing with the root problem? Launch massive programs—housing, schools, jobs, etc.—to really integrate deprived Muslim communities in France and throughout Europe. In fact, Sarkozy has been making an important effort to provide better housing, but a few years of effort cannot overcome decades of prejudice and neglect.


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In my view, a much more immediate way of at least alleviating the issue would be for France to pull out of Afghanistan. The adventure has cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars, and some 84 dead soldiers, including four recently killed by an Afghan soldier they were supposedly training. The Afghan campaign has been a disaster for all concerned. The U.S. is headed for the doors, seeking only a seemly way to exit. The French could show the way.

You can be sure, however, that there will be many who will cite the Toulouse killings to argue just the opposite: The fact that Merah may have received some terrorist training in Afghanistan is proof of the threat that jihadis operating there still pose to Europe. Thus, the imperative need to persevere until the Taliban and their allies are defeated, the threat totally liquidated.

But the problem is that, as the past decade has brutally demonstrated despite a huge investment in treasure and blood by the U.S. and its allies, such a military victory is not in the cards. The only way out is some kind of deal with the Taliban and their allies—a deal whereby they take a share of power with the understanding that any attempt to turn their country again into a training ground for terrorists targeting Europe or the U.S. will be dealt with by drones and special forces, not massive troop interventions.

Indeed, there is a strong argument that the American and NATO presence in the Muslim world has done more to ignite the outrage of young Muslims elsewhere than any ragtag training camps. Why would Merah have gone to Afghanistan if it were not for the presence of French troops in that Muslim country?

Which brings us to Israel and Iran.

Some militant Israelis—and their backers in the U.S.—will use the Toulouse attacks to bolster the case for bombing Iran. The argument: Just imagine if that al-Qaida killer in Toulouse and others like him throughout Europe and the U.S. had access not just to a .45-caliber pistol and a Kalashnikov, but to a nuclear weapon furnished by Iran.

One would hope, however, that the Toulouse attack would give Israeli hawks pause. In assessing the risks of bombing Iran, Israeli intelligence analysts have been speculating about the kind of retaliation their country might face.

It’s clear now that not just Israeli citizens would be at risk.

In fact, compared with the 191 people killed and 1,800 wounded when al-Qaida-inspired terrorists bombed the railway in Madrid in 2004, and the 52 people killed and 700 injured in coordinated suicide attacks on the London Underground in July 2005, France so far has had it easy.

Imagine the incredible mayhem if one day terrorists like Mohammed Merah decided to target The Chunnel linking Paris and London.

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By diamond, March 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Sarkozy will play on this for all it’s worth. The only thing he is ahead of his rival Hollande on is ‘national security’ but he will still lose the election. Anyone who tries to tamper with France’s social justice framework and bulldozes refugee camps will always lose an election in France. He has made the French feel dirty and they only like that in bed.

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By Anarcissie, March 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

I don’t really see how anyone could begin to defend any of it morally.

Of course, I suppose different people have different morals.  I’m making some assumptions about ‘morally’ here.

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By robb howard, March 23, 2012 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Arabian Sinbad for the spell check. I appreciate your response and agree with most of it. Indeed the West should leave the Muslim world completely. This should include all oil dealing as well. It would eliminate the spying problem that concerns you. No doubt the dealings of the West in the Muslim world have been far short of honorable. It saddens me that the governments and companies that represent my country have acted so horribly over the past century. That said, it is perfectly clear that Wahabbi Islam is taking the lead in the Islamic world. So now it will be your turn to represented by the worst of your society. So yes, I wish we could agree to disagree. You and your brothers could go back to your lands to live as you8 wish and we in the west could be free of associations with you. As for Isreal, that is a tougher question. You will agrue that they took your land. They argue that you took their land and they then took it back. I tend to agree with Isreal even though I wish they treated the Palastinians better. Unfortuanely we are pissing in the wind in even induging in the fantasy of as seperation of East from West. Please try to ignore my spelling and grammatical mistakes. I dont have the time or inclination to proof read. All the best, Robb

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By heterochromatic, March 23, 2012 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Ana—- i would say that your advice, while welcome, is not of the best in this case.

I find nothing insane in Obama’s use of lethal force to date…..there’s a lot that I
find unwise but nothing that approaches the morally indefensible.

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By Anarcissie, March 23, 2012 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, March 22 at 11:30 am:

———I would urge you to consider “occupation” and “state-sponsored
terrorism” as the actual underlying causes of such radicalization and violence
by individuals or small group———

I would ask YOU to consider whether you’re an actual human being if you look
to find some way to deflect the responsibility for a series of indefensible and
morally insane actions committed by some twisted asshole upon other people. ...’

I think your passion would be better spent on our own governments, which kill people too.  There is a relationship between the insanity of Merah and that of Bush and Obama, but the latter have done a lot more killing.

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By neilr, March 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article provides a useful look at the broader context of these ugly
events, but for me it over-reaches in at least two directions and under
examines the situation in France with regard to French Muslims both today
and in recent decades. But before commenting on that, what we know
about Merahs motivations will always include a measure of conjecture and
guesswork - especially now he is dead. Similarly, ‘official’ accounts of these
nasty murders should be taken with a pinch of salt - it would not be the
first time authorities used a tragedy to serve their ends, be it a pretext to
clamp down on particular individuals or fuel divisions for political
advantage, particularly in the midst of a crucial election.

As for the over-reaches, linking this event to Iran and a possible attack by
Israel is fanciful - the connection is non-existant and if it is used as part of
the argument only confirms the point about exploiting tragedy. The second
is that France would or even could use this event as an excuse to leave
Afghanistan. Aside from the fact that all the parties to the invasion are
itching to leave and ready to use any excuse to get out - a move that would
be popular with French voters, just as in the US - the Presidential election is
in full swing, Sarkozy has his hands full and would be panned roundly for
the opportunism, to say nothing of the reaction of the rest of the NATO

Instead of making too much of this in the international arena, more should
be said of the situation in France. There has been a deliberate and growing
attack in recent years on the ‘failure’ or ‘refusal’ of too many of France’s
many million Muslims (who are for the most part entirely French and
expressly treated as such regardless of their origins by the state)  to
integrate and ‘become ‘French’. The National Front’s bread and butter
politicing revolves around finding examples of this ‘failure’ - a fact which
exposes the conflict at the heart of France’s identity crisis; namely it
(rightly) sees itself as a Christian country and culture and yet is also proud
of the strict separation of religion from the public realm in its constitution.
The hypocrisy of banning the burka to uphold the latter while calling on
France’s Muslims to be more like ‘the French’ isn’t lost on the third and
fourth generation immigrants who have seen their parents, grandparents
and own employment prospects stunted, who often live in or are trapped
in substandard housing, experience disproportionately heavy-handed
policing, see virtually no non-white faces on TV and hear their president
call them a ‘rabble’ and only last month extol that France has too many
foreigners. At the same time the French government does not collect any
data on minorities because ‘we are all French’ - meaning there is no
evidence to prove that minorities are disadvantaged or for that matter that
their prospects are improving. They also see a society which loudly and
rightly decries acts of anti-semitism, yet does nothing of the sort to speak
out against speech.and hate crimes against their own. Worse still, they are
blatantly targeted by both the right and far right, with many millions of
French nodding in agreement.

I make these points not to excuse the heinous killings by Merah, but
because there are far more reasons close to home for young French
Muslims to be enraged than by what is happening overseas. I fear France
will miss this opportunity to address a long-standing and complex issue
and, worse still, in its post-millennial identity crisis, do the opposite and
only widen the divisions.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

and allow me to add that Lando is an idiot.

——-In my view, a much more immediate way of at least
alleviating the issue would be for France to pull out
of Afghanistan——-

that’s the writing of a “slow” high student.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

The majority of israelis were born in the Middle east. israel ain’t going
anywhere…..and nobody is kicking the Muslims citizens out of the USA.

It’s a small world after all….. and neither the seventh century, nor the fifteenth
century, nor the eighteenth century is coming back.

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By Arabian Sinbad, March 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

By robb howard, March 22 at 2:01 pm

“Get all western troops out of the middle east and get all devout muslims out of the west. They do not want to intigrate into the modern liberal world so let them live in the 7th century far far away from us.
I got intrigued by your simplistic yet meritorious proposal! However, I endorse it with one modification and one reservation:

1. The first to get out would be the Western imperialist evil post in the Middle East, which is Zionist Israel.

2. As to the reservation, what would you propose to do with the most devout of all Muslims I know; the one million Afro-American Muslims?!

If you can put this modified plan to work, then I would further suggest that Muslims countries should have no diplomatic or commercial dealings with the West, and vice-versa, for a lot of those who work in these fields are spies for the political-military establishments in their countries and no good thing can come out of those scum of the earth who always work in the dark with the unlimited financial resources of the crushed and enslaved tax-payers.

Furthermore, if you convince your fellow Westerners about the validity of this great-simplistic plan, I promise to devote what is left of my sad life to convince as many Muslims as I can that this is a perfect solution for both the East and the West.

But beware! Since the sun will always be rising from the East, the Easterners might decide to withhold it from moving to the West! (Of course this is the sarcasm part of my post!)

With this arrangement, the West can have Hollywood and its fantastic decadent culture as well as their overrated morphine-past time sports, with their idols such as Tibow being traded for the highest bidder as if they are commodities. And the East will enjoy the simple life of the past, working the land and enjoying the serenity of their oil-producing deserts while smoking Hashish or the tobacco Hukkahs, and drinking mint tea! 

But if I go, your many language-challenged fellow Westerns will be deprived of valuable language editors who would correct your spelling mistakes and impress upon you the need to write right, with the right capitalization and punctuation marks! (Another sarcasm!)

Let me finally rewrite your comment above with the right linguistic editing:
By Robb Howard, March 22 at 2:01 pm

“Get all Western troops out of the Middle East and get all devout Muslims out of the West. They do not want to integrate into the modern liberal world, so let them live in the 7th century far, far away from us!”

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

vec—- I would be insulted if your comment wasn’t so incredibly stupid….... I don’t
assume that you’re quite that moronic so I’m going with thinking that you’re
intoxicated and hoping to spread your nausea.

sober up and try again tomorrow.

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By vector56, March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic is a perfect example of how we are conditioned to “feel” only within certain parameters.

A 17 year old Black Kid gets gun down by a racist; it’s ok to feel pain because Blacks are “out of reason”.

A Rabbi and 3 Jewish children are outright murdered in France; due to the fall of the Third Reich, Jews are now a “protected species”. 

Obama and Eric Holder (two Black men) order the killing of a 16 year old boy without charge or trial (Abdul Rahman al Awlaki) guys like heterochromatic do not shed a freaking tear!

Looks like Muslims/Arabs are “in season”. 

About 1.5 million children are killed in Vietnam (many burned alive by Napalm) and we shed no tears. Thousands of children were murdered in Iraq, and most except it as the “cost of doing business”! The Attack on Gaza took the life of about 300 children and not many lost any sleep over it. I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of guys like heterochromatic’s “selective Compassion”.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Lafy, yes it was the only thing to do. and those damn Frenchies took a very selfish
and judgmental attitude about the whole thing,  instead of allowing him to
express himself and supplying him with a few other surplus children and soldiers.

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment


BL: How about dealing with the root problem?

BL gave some very sensible suggestions to address the problem.

Let’s look at the root cause. Which is likely to be the lack of self-esteem. Merad, 23 years old, had a history of delinquency and did time.

After coming out of 18 months detention, he applied to become a paratrooper. The French Army refused him because of his record. He then applied to the Foreign Legion.

The Foreign Legion consists of volunteers from many countries and for those wanting to join, there are no questions asked regarding background. The Foreign Legion refused to allow Merad to join, for the same reason as the Paratroopers.

The die was cast. This very sick young man had nowhere to go. Many American youth want to join the military because it provides them with both the discipline and the framework that they crave. They need to be told what to do and prove their capabilities that builds self-esteem.

Merad never had that choice and the French paid the price of seven dead - three paratroopers, one soldier, three children and an adult.

Merad, over a period of 30 hours when he talked constantly with agents trying to convince him to surrender, confirmed his Salafist beliefs - which he adopted because he had no other alternative, I suggest.

He went down shooting rather than go to jail for the rest of his life. In the Salafist belief, that is a high honor, which is the great esteem of martyrdom.

Had he been given an alternative, perhaps he would not have sought martyrdom?

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By robb howard, March 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Get all western troops out of the middle east and get all devout muslims out of the west. They do not want to intigrate into the modern liberal world so let them live in the 7th century far far away from us.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

dia——i don’t think that the french have any business at all banning head
scarves….. but I DO think it reasonable to deny people the right to be completely

I do believe that some women were demanding to be masked when applying for
driver’s licenses and being photographed for the ID.

that one seems to run counter to legitimate state interest.

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By OzarkMichael, March 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

I said: One of the beefs they have is against the French strict rules of secularism, which forces Muslim woman to abandon their traditional dress.

Lafayette responded:

The above is mindless malarkey, not surprising from OM.

This will be the second time you ridiculed me when i was right. You still havent apologized for the last time, which was at the beginning of the Arab Spring. I warned that the revolt in Tunisia might have effects elsewhere and that the result might be Islamic governments. Lafayette’s response was “Piffle!”

It turns out I was right. Even Tunisia is having a little trouble and Egypt is going to have the Musliom Brotherhood in charge.

And I am right this time too.

The presumed killer claims to belong to Forsane Alizza. Do you know what that is Lafayette? No you dont. It is a Muslim group. They have complained about the French ban against Muslim traditional dress. The info is not available on Truthdig, but information that makes Leftists look bad is NEVER available here.

Here is one website that did a little digging a few days ago. Look towards the bottom of the page, the left picture is titled ‘Niqab’. Do you know what that is, Lafayette?  Of course you dont. Niqab is part of traditional Muslim woman’s attire. The picture contains the word “Injustice” and the caption says “The hunt against Muslim women continues, Forsane Alizza mobilises

So I was right again.

Lafayette. You denigrate anyone who brings info to Truthdig, and you push aside the facts for the sake of your pompous opinions. You never add any value here, just windy pronouncements.

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By diamond, March 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Israel’s answer to everything is to build a higher wall and a bigger bomb and just go on killing other people and their children. This is a stupid plan and it will continue to have tragic consequences for Israelis, wherever they live. It will continue to have tragic consequences for America too, because America is now Israel’s colony instead of Britain’s.

“however i don’t understand full face coverings to be a traditional religious requirement.”

You’re right. Mohammed never said women should wear veils or full body coverings. Women were merely told to ‘dress modestly’. This form of dress is a custom, not a religious prescription. Mohammed never said that women should have their genitals mutilated either or that men should carry out ‘honour killings’. Mohammed was, for his time, an advocate of women’s rights in an era when the Catholic church was holding a conference (in France, from memory) to debate the issue of ‘Do women have souls?’

The Christian church also does things that Jesus never told them to do: having a Pope living in luxury in a palace and having his own state to rule, being at the top of the list.  Mary Magdalen was one of the leaders of the early Christian church but you won’t see any women priests in the Catholic church any time soon - or ever. On the other hand the Queen often wears a headscarf and no one takes offense or feels it is threatening. The reaction against this form of dress is merely another manifestation of the demonization of Muslims which began with 9/11 - as it was intended to.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Sinbad—- I had taken notice that you condemned the killing and therefore find
it difficult to accept that you’re changing your position.

PS—-you can’t define the root causes of “radicalization” until after you define
“radicalization”.  ....

I responded to your pseudo-philosophizing by pointing out that your thoughts
are lacking any rigor.

PPS—- don’t warn me about a damn thing, please I take no orders from you.

Try to respond to the comment like a big boy.

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By heterochromatic, March 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

———I would urge you to consider “occupation” and “state-sponsored
terrorism” as the actual underlying causes of such radicalization and violence
by individuals or small group———

I would ask YOU to consider whether you’re an actual human being if you look
to find some way to deflect the responsibility for a series of indefensible and
morally insane actions committed by some twisted asshole upon other people.

Perhaps it makes as much sense to place the responsibility upon a “culture of
victimization” and ‘self-righteousness” and the inculcated bigotry that it

Perhaps if people next week start walking into madrassahs teaching the
wahhabist nonsense that the Saudis spread and start slaughtering the children
and teachers they find, you’ll understand that the underlying cause was to be
found in a righteous indignation of the impurity of the teachings and the vile
practices of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Or maybe you will not have that understanding and you won’t blame other
societies and the victims and you’ll assign morally culpability in a sane manner.

This utter horseshit about a feeling of victimization serving to take some of the
responsibility from the murderer of people who don’t have a fucking thing in
the world with his life and spreading it all around is not a good thing…and it
treats the killer as being not an actual responsibly human being…....

if you want to try that nonsense, please understand that you’re treating some
people as lesser beings who can not be expected to be able to carry the very
human burden of not killing people without rational reason or need.

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By MeHere, March 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette -2am

I may not know as much as you do about how France uses its money resources, but I’m aware of its great investment in social projects of many kinds. And yes, we wish we could have the same in the US. In my opinion though, aid to ex colonies is not exactly a good example of that since the aid is related to political and business interests.  We know all about that kind of foreign aid in the US.  France has 36,000 troops deployed in foreign territories. There may be a better word than colonialism. How about imperialism or military interventionism?  It is a matter of a state intervening militarily in the affairs of another sovereign state. This approach can never work in terms of protecting the national security of any country -not in today’s world.

It’s interesting to notice how you took my comments to mean that I put the US government and its policies above those of France. ????

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By kazy, March 22, 2012 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Balkas you babble way too much and you babble the SAME thing of some relic ideology that has been exposed for the concocted and cooked up eugenics that it is.

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By Arabian Sinbad, March 22, 2012 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, March 22 at 8:58 am

“In most countries, the people expect those who want to come into the country and live there more or less permanently to conform to the existing culture.  This is as true of Afghanistan or Fiji as it is of France.”
With due respect, I find the above comment of yours irrelevant to the topic, besides being untrue. In Afghanistan, for example, though alcohol is forbidden for the natives, the American occupation forces have always access to alcohol. It has been brought out that the American soldier who committed the latest massacre there was apparently drunk!

However, your first comment under this thread was spot on and completely relevant, though I don’t totally agree that improving the social and living conditions of the immigrants goes to the very root of solving the problem of radicalization among certain individuals or groups. I would urge you to consider “occupation” and “state-sponsored terrorism” as the actual underlying causes of such radicalization and violence by individuals or small group who don’t have neither the human resources nor the financial resources to stand against state-sponsored occupation and terrorism.

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By Anarcissie, March 22, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

In most countries, the people expect those who want to come into the country and live there more or less permanently to conform to the existing culture.  This is as true of Afghanistan or Fiji as it is of France.  In the case of the French, my impression is that they don’t care about your race or religion, but you’d better speak French correctly and idiomatically, dress conventionally, and comport yourself in what the French consider to be a proper manner, or you’re not going to get a good job, a nice place to live, or respect from the authorities.  That’s just the way it is there.  There are many, many countries that are far more restrictive than France in this regard.

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By DornDiego, March 22, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Good Americans, even some of us lefties, seem ready to issue orders to Muslims
to unveil their faces and let their women drive cars in Saudi Arabia, and hold
meaningful jobs elsewhere, but when it comes to some of Christianity’s abuses—
mandated circumcision, say, or attempts to defund government health services for
the poor—well, we just don’t see those prohibitions in the same light.  And, to
put the Paris massacre in another light, let’s remember that it seems to have been
a US soldier who murdered in cold blood 16 people in Afghanistan, 9 of those
being women and children.  One murder is as evil as another, until a government
starts doing the killing.

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By Jim Yell, March 22, 2012 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can recognize that some of the policies of the current government in Israel could well fan the flames of resentment towards Jews in general, but we should not forget that if the Islamic people of the area of Isreal had not chosen to try and expel or kill their Jewish neighbors than the formation of Israel would have been much different. We must deal with the area by the situations of today and Israel doesn’t have to commit suicide because of questionalbe policies of the government past and present.

No pass can be given for the personal lapses of the killer of the little children by a self appointed executioner. I would think further that if investigation shows that a group in France supporte, encouraged and funded this man,s murderous rampage, then they should be considered accessories to the crime and treated like accessories.

Beyond that there is no way to completely stop these type of crimes, but it is important the the response to these type of crimes is swift and includes all the guilty people. Shooting little children execution style is disgusting, and for my part yes, I think our militaries sloppy use of weapons leading to deaths of children and non-combatents is also disgusting and wrong.

Still I do not think we should all go “Hatfields and McCoys”.

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By omop, March 22, 2012 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

The nightmare in Toulouse is a by product of the nature of homo
sapiens…the ways and means of the way the English treat the Irish… the
Chinese and the Japanese….the Germans et al….it used to be one state,
now its Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia u name it… used to be known as the
Sudan now its North and South….it used to be Iraq and then it became Iraq
and Kuwait, ad infinitum.

Que bruta vita as the saying goes. Even the French residents of Algeria
were called “pieds noirs” by the French residing in Toulouse, Dijon et Paris.

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By balkas, March 22, 2012 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

as far as i know, white peoples [yes, a conglomeration of baltics, slavs, romanians, hungarians, scythians, cimmerians,
armenians, georgians, chechens, dagestanis, khazars, hazeris, armenians, germanic peoples, ossetians] with the cult
cannot be categorized as a race.
unless we call them white race and never a ‘jewish’ race and which no anthropologist, as far as i know, would agree with.
it is of some import to note the fact that the white people with cult have not spoken aramaic or hebraic in any land they
if they were mostly or totally of hebraic ancestry, why have they abandoned it?
especially in view that historians do not report to us that they were forbidden to use it even at home or villages they lived?
even the irish, who were subjugated/much oppressed by the english, still speak their language called erse or gaelic.
in connection with white people with talmudic cult [possibly worst of them all], we may note that even godologists affirm
that the ten hebraic tribes [also called israelites] vanished w.o.trace.
and what happened to judeans? most likely they settled among people who spoke a language that was similar or same with
theirs after fleeing roman terror against them and their cult.
nevertheless, some of these jews or even israelites must have fled to caucasus, n.afrika and spread their cult among the
btw, the socalled yiddish they spoke was mostly made up of german words and some liturgical hebrew. it is no more
hebraic than is the english a french language just because it contains so much french.

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2012 at 4:52 am Link to this comment


From WikiP and about “Semitic”:

In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic (from the Biblical “Shem”, Hebrew: ???, translated as “name”, Arabic: ??????) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. This family includes the ancient and modern forms of Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Ge’ez, Maltese, Canaanite/Phoenician, Amorite, Eblaite, Ugaritic, Sutean, Chaldean, Mandaic, Ahlamu, Amharic, Tigre and Tigrinya among others.

So, the Arabs are antisemitic? Now pull the other leg ...

The Ottoman Empire, Islamic, was a haven for persecuted European Jews who came to live within its confines.

Anti-Israeli - now that’s something else. And, given, that Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank (according to the UN), then there is good reason to ask if Palestinian distrust of the Israelis is not merited ...

Might does not make right - never has, never will.


The Holocaust was a horror perpetrated by Nazi gentiles upon the Jewish race. It was wicked and unpardonable as well as a lesson to all for the future.

Any discrimination (and/or resulting hatred /atrocity) is repugnant, unacceptable and intolerable in an egalitarian democracy - whether racial, religious, sexual or otherwise. It is antithetical to all notions of personal liberty, that is, the right to exist peacefully as one sees fit.

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By balkas, March 22, 2012 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

what’s with lando’s “turning their country again into a training ground for terrorists threatening europe or
there are just too many lies in this one statement to list them all. but most important one is the fact that he
dichotomizes killings of people into terrorist and non-terrorist.
he then goes on to do that with military training: western, being moral, defensive training and that of muslims
illegal, immoral, and with sinister motives or in order to attack ‘peaceful’ europe and US.
since when has europe become peaceful towards most muslim lands. and when was the first time any islamic
country invaded, say, france, holland, US?
lando also posits, tho tacitly, the notion that europeans fear/hate, say, talibani, but pashtuns do not fear/hate
nor have a right to fear/hate western talibani!!
“jihadis pose a threat to europe”. is that before slaughter of 300,000-1,200.000 iraqis, thousands in palestina
and elsewhere or after all that?

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By balkas, March 22, 2012 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

french 1% [or the richest individuals in france] does not differ an iota in behavior
and ideology from that of japanese, russian, german, american, dutch 1%.
in the end, it is the main cause of what merah did and will be a chief cause for all
future retaliation against those who kill palestinians, afghans, lebanese, iraqis.

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By balkas, March 22, 2012 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

lando, along with most ashkenazim and MSM columnists, et al, often speak of antisemitism, but never
ever, as far as i know, of antigoyism or what ashkenazim do to peoples among which they settle legally
and illegally and w.o. permission as is the case in palestine.
historians tell us that ashkenazic 1%, often or always side with the oppressors of the domestic people.
and, of course, oppressed peoples become angry with those ashkenazim who work against them.
we can see this now happening in US. and people who are fighting back and against ashkenazic
leadership are called antisemitic and not, of course, antishemitic.
and i am not an antishemite—i am only against what ashkenazic leadership does to us. thus, we know
we are right and are morally and legally obligated to fight our opressors of whatever cult or ethnicity
they are.
thanks, bozhidar b.

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By Arabian Sinbad, March 22, 2012 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

It’s true that “The Nightmare Won’t End in Toulouse” as the title of this piece implies. Though this tragic event took place physically in Toulouse, France, it’s underlying background causes span a greater area of space-time beyond the actual time and space.

The information we have thus far indicates that this unjustified criminal violent act was justified in the mind of its perpetrator as an act of revenge for what he perceived as greater wrongs done to his fellow brethren in faith as far as Afghanistan and Palestine.

Yet I would suggest that a deeper, though undeclared motivation was at work in this case. Barry Lando correctly alluded in his article to the brutal French occupation of Algiers which resulted in the death of some one million Algerians in their struggle and resistance to the French occupation.

So my point here is that the buzz word in explaining the motivation behind this revenge violent act is “OCCUPATION”: The Western occupation of Afghanistan, the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the historically distant occupation of Algeria by the French. And in the minds of most occupied people, occupation is the ultimate form of terrorism, so they think that only steel will blunt steel!

Another point I want to make clear is that, though the perpetrator’s name is Muhammad, Islam has nothing to do with this criminal violent act; it’s rather crude nationalistic feelings, related to perceived historical as well as current wrongs!

I am sad to say that this violent act was not the first nor would be the last which has “occupation” as its underlying cause. The law of cause-effect was at work here!

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2012 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

MH: France missed the chance to say no to foreign interventions and to work towards ending the Muslim stigma within its borders.

Said blindly by someone obviously ignorant of the facts in France.

Come to France, I’ll show you with your own eyes. For instance, townships that go out of their way such that Muslims may build a mosque in which to worship. And a world-class institute for the study of the Islamic culture.

In fact, France is one of the few countries on earth where Muslims were more free than in their country of origin - until the recent “Arab Springtime”. In fact, the initial uprising in Tunisia was fomented with the assistance of Tunisians living in France.

Your nattering about French colonialism is so out of date as to be ridiculous. Total Foreign Aid to the ex French colonies alone amounts to billions of Euros alone.

France is not paradise on earth, but it has a Social Justice that Americans could only dream of that are considered birthrights - like the public-options of a first-class very lo-cost Universal National Health Service and PostSecondary Education (vocational, college, university).

When will Americans summon the courage to rise up in their own peaceful revolution against a homegrown Plutocracy?

Until then, you are the pot calling the kettle black.

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2012 at 2:29 am Link to this comment


OM: One of the beefs they have is against the French strict rules of secularism, which forces Muslim woman to abandon their traditional dress.

The above is mindless malarkey, not surprising from OM.

It is true that some Muslim women in France married to Muslim men have the habit of wearing a full-dress cloak with a head scarf that covers their face leaving only their eyes uncovered. It is also true that many Muslim women refuse to wear such scarves. It is also true that many of the “Muslim” women who do wear these covering scarves are actually Muslim converts who adapt to a very strict Muslim teaching (aka “Salafist”).

Many Muslim women wear a full-dress cloak but without the scarf covering their face. Far more Muslim-faith women dress like other French women. They are French-first and Muslim-secondly. Just as are female French Catholics or Protestants or Jews.

It is much the same convention as when Catholic women were supposed to cover their heads in Church, whilst men were not required to do so. In fact, the Muslim women without facial scarves look like Catholic nuns dressed in black.

The French government saw, in using cloaked dress, two possible consequences:
•  First that women would be denied the right to dress, within the prevailing norm of public decency, as they see fit.
•  Secondly, that the dress could be used as a cloak by male/female terrorists posing as Muslim women.

For these reasons, the government forbade that the facial covering be allowed in public places of commerce or in schools. The women can wear the full-dress cloaks in public parks or whilst walking on the streets.  But they must come off if walking into, say, a bank or a supermarket or any place operated under supervision of the French government and therefore designated as “public”.


Secularism in France is key national attribute. Why? Because before the French revolution, the monarch ruled by Divine Right.  The Church and the Monarchy both had mutual vested interests that coincided greatly for centuries, which is why monarchs were crowned in Cathedrals.

That tie was broken willingly by the French after their revolution in 1789 and secularism adopted as a national attribute. What is secularism? Secularism means not religious, sacred or spiritual. And it designates the separation of spiritual belief from state administration of public affairs.


It would help Americans to understand why Europeans are so set against mixing religious and political beliefs due to the damage done (as noted amply in European history) when they are allowed to blend – and the former comes to dominate the latter.

Our founding fathers understood the simple belief of the separation of church and state. We seem to be forgetting it.

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2012 at 1:46 am Link to this comment


BL: The problem, of course, is that Merah is just one of 5 to 6 million people of Muslim descent living in France. A large number reside in shabby banlieues of the country’s major cities, where housing is dilapidated, unemployment high and bitterness rampant.

True enough, but the two communities live together on rather peaceable terms. There is no mutual slaughtering in France of Muslims and Jews. Not on any scale that would merit real interest.

In fact, both the Head Rabbi and the head of the Muslim community were both together on TV to make concurrent statements decrying Merah’s atrocity and insisting it was an isolated incident. (Let us remember that of the two French paratroopers that Merah also killed, two were Muslims.)

The Muslim leader underscored the fact that the murders were not derived from any teaching to be found in the Koran and that Merah was an anti-Muslim.

Let’s get this bit straight: It will be seen, imho, that Merah is indeed an al-Qaeda operative “sleeper”, acting on his own, but motivated by the desire to revenge the deaths of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces.


Spilt blood begets spilt blood. Israel and Palestine must recognize one another’s nationhood and then devise a way to live in peace together.

About linking the events in Toulouse with the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza, read this WikiP piece here.

Atrocities have been committed on both sides.

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By MadDog22, March 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What an intelligent idea. Give murderers what they
want so they’ll leave you along. It will work for about half an hour. Until the next murderer comes along with additional demands. Lando, you’re an imbecile.

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By MeHere, March 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Imagine the benefit for France, if all the money and lives invested in its colonial efforts in the Middle East had been directed to helping its own Muslim communities. France missed the chance to say no to foreign interventions and to work towards ending the Muslim stigma within its borders.  Such a task may not have been too easy to accomplish but what they have now is a nightmare.

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By heterochromatic, March 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Oz—- secularism doesn’t properly require people to abandon their traditional
religious practices…..however i don’t understand full face coverings to be a
traditional religious requirement.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, March 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

I was looking at the presumed shooter’s affilated website. One of the beefs they have is against the French strict rules of secularism, which forces Muslim woman to abandon their traditional dress.

Interesting that this article on Truthdig supposedly wants to get at the root of the problem and pacify the Muslims, but doesnt call for France to cave on its secularism.

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By heterochromatic, March 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

Ana——- and not every person is sane and has problems that can be attributed to
anyone beyond their own fucked-up selves.

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By Anarcissie, March 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Barry Lando: ‘... How about dealing with the root problem? Launch massive programs—housing, schools, jobs, etc.—to really integrate deprived Muslim communities in France and throughout Europe. ...’

What angers people is not poverty but humiliation.  Not every social problem can be solved with a handout.

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