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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Shards writ large

"Shards," indeed.

Below, one of my 2004 shots of the Eiffel Tower, at dusk.

We were in Paris for the finish of le Tour that year, joyfully shlepping those very arrondissements proximate to the attacks. Below, a couple of blocks from our hotel.

If this nihilist tragedy isn't a "population health" catastrophe (along with other recent equally gruesome atrocities that weren't accorded 24/7 worldwide press coverage), I don't know what qualifies. Acute care medical services certainly got their workout this weekend. And, given the large number of people still hospitalized with serious to critical wounds and injuries, the frantic medical work will continue apace.

Below, a map of the current Middle Eastern states' diaspora.

The heated social media and news site commentary rhetoric across the weekend has been rife with xenophobic, genocidal "bomb-them-all-back-to-their-beloved-7th-Century" exhortations. Eliminationist allusions to the entire Middle East turned into a "glass parking lot" fly off the trolls' keyboards with abandon.

We're talking about 23% of humanity, the proportion of world population identifying as "Muslim" (~1.7 of 7.3 billion people on earth).

The politicians are elbowing each other aside to be seen as the "toughest." Ted Cruz advocates ramping up U.S. airstrikes and quit worrying about civilian casualties. Donald Trump advocates forcibly shutting down mosques in the U.S. Jeb Bush says only "Christian" refugees should be admitted into  the U.S. The governor of Alabama declares that no Syrian refugees will be permitted in his state.

Update: dozens of other states have chimed in to cite the same bans.

Ben Carson, in addition to calling for legislation barring Syrian refugees, advocates resuming full-scale U.S. military operations in Iraq (to demonstrate "leadership") and going to war with Russia if necessary over a U.S.-imposed no-fly zone over Syria.

And so it goes.


More to come...

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