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Vive La France

Sometimes the state of the world makes you want to weep. Here I am trying to write about things that are exciting or frustrating but, in truth, really quite parochial in the face of events like Friday night’s massacre in France. Scores of people going about their lives, which were cut short by the action of ‘Islamic State’ terrorists. I’m grateful for people like Marc, Daniel and Simon who cast thoughtful perspectives in their blog posts.

Me? While I had been leaning in the direction of preferring hospitality to refugees to military intervention, I have to admit that I’m feeling angry and inclined to war. I think “just war” is an oft-abused notion but there are circumstances in which it fits, even if the conduct of justifiable wars is often less than exemplary. For example (Godwin’s Law alert), I am glad that Allied forces resisted Nazism in WWII even if there are actions such as the Dresden fire bombings that are hard or impossible to justify in their own right.

There are clearly forces of mass terrorism, while I’m still convinced that we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction, taking Britain into the second Gulf War. Perhaps this is a time to deploy troops again? However, we can’t treat this a as a coventional war; if we recognise Islamic State as a coherent state, it has to be fought on its own terms; guerilla tactics. Absolute care needs to be taken to protect civilians, which is the place where IS transgress to the point of outrage, but, while I know that ‘an eye for an eye makes the world goes blind’, I think there is a point when a fierce response to militants is right. Maybe these should be the days of Ehud.

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