We've watched this movie before. We will soon watch it again.
In mere minutes following the latest jihad attack in Nice—assuming another hasn't occurred before this appears in print—the script had already written itself.
Shockingly, it seems the perpetrator is—again!—a Muslim. What are the odds? Evidently, a Tunisian who moved to Nice is a “Frenchman.” So there’s no point in stemming the migrant flood; this is all “home-grown” now.
[The mass-murderer has reportedly been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel, who (according to the Telegraph) "hailed from the Tunisian town of Msaken, which is close to the seaside city of Sousse, where 38 people, including 30 Britons, were gunned down by terrorists in June 2015."]
The responsible authorities will scramble around looking for “ties” to known jihadist terror groups as though ferreting out a ring of bank robbers.
The mainstream media will pronounce itself as puzzled, perplexed, flummoxed, and mystified as to the killer’s real motivations as they were by those of the shooters in Orlando (“Allahu akbar!”) and Dallas (“Kill white people”). No such uncertainty in Charleston, though.
Another “Je suis . . . " hashtag is born. The Eiffel Tower will be lit up in pretty colors. That'll show 'em!
The usual suspects—Hollande, Obama, the Clintons—will mouth the usual platitudes (“resolve,” “thoughts and prayers” “the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life” “strong solidarity” “cowardly attack”). This, of course, has nothing to do with Islam, the “religion of peace©."
Most importantly, the “far right” dark forces of intolerance and Islamophobia (Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump) cannot be allowed to exploit Nice for their own nefarious schemes.
The surveillance state will tighten the screws across the board, without reference to ethnicity, religion, age, or sex. Not profiling Muslims, that would be racist. (What "race" is Islam again?)
Obama will renew his calls for gun control. He might now add federal truck control and a ban on multiple-axle “assault” vehicles.
Advocates of past interventionist fiascos in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria—all noble quests to help oh-so-grateful Muslims—will strengthen their calls for boots on the ground against ISIS. Preferably American boots, or maybe those of our Sunnis “allies,” the ones arming and funding jihadists. Assad must go. We need “regime change” in Iran.
NATO and EU bureaucrats in Brussels, Washington, and capitals across Europe will spring into action: “Right! This calls for immediate discussion!” Then they will go back to addressing the "real threat to Europe"—posed by Russia.
After a few days, when the blood is washed off the promenade, after the customary solemnities and moments of silence, the sense of urgency will wear off. As it has for Paris (twice), Brussels, Sinai (Russians don’t count, do they?), San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Baghdad, Dhaka, and lots of places we never noticed anyway.
The New Normal will reassert itself.
Until next time.
The sick institutions that prevail in the West at the national and international level assure that there indeed will be a next time.
Yes, there will be many, many next times unless and until people get really, really sick of this charade and do something about it.
And that starts with throwing the bums out.
[images via video screengrabs from the Telegraph, Express, and Daily Mail]
Jim Jatras, a former US diplomat and foreign policy...