The Left’s reactions to the terrorist attack on Paris are in keeping with its tradition of getting almost everything wrong.
Take Bernie Sanders, for example. At the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, one day after the Paris attack, the Democratic/socialist candidate made this observation about al-Qaeda:
I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely, and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS.
That a U.S. senator, let alone a man running for president of the United States, believes that the American invasion of Iraq led to the rise of al-Qaeda should automatically disqualify him from serious consideration by voters. It is an example of how many on the left twist reality to force-fit it into their ideology.
For the benefit of those too young to recall 9/11 — and who probably haven’t been told in school that Muslims assaulted America in the name of Islam that day — it was al-Qaeda that attacked America. In other words, al-Qaeda, founded in 1988, preceded the American invasion of Iraq by 15 years.
Take President Obama’s statement on the attack:
This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people on France, but this is an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.
At best, this is classic left-wing naiveté; at worst, it is nonsense produced by left-wing thinking.
This was not an “attack on all humanity.” And it wasn’t an attack on “the universal values we share,” since there are in fact few universal values that humanity shares. It was an attack on Western liberal values. If humanity shared universal values, there wouldn’t be wars, or hundreds of millions of subjugated women, or theocratic and secular tyrannies.
The president offered another piece of left-wing foolishness:
We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice.
This notion of “bringing terrorists to justice” is in keeping with the left-wing denial that we are in a war — specifically a war on Islamist terrorism. In war you defeat your enemy (which usually involves killing). You don’t bring terrorists to justice; you bring domestic criminals to justice. But for the Left, all the world’s Islamist terrorists are isolated criminals who by amazing coincidence happen to be Muslim.
And then there was New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.
In a column of breathtaking self-righteousness, Bruni wrote that he “felt sick” over the fact that people were saying anything about the Paris attack other than offering condolences to the French people.
“Can’t we wait until we’ve resolved the body count?” he asked.
One of the allegedly egregious examples he cited was that of former New York Times correspondent Judith Miller, who tweeted:
Now maybe the whining adolescents at our universities can concentrate on something other than their need for “safe” spaces . . .
Her tweet was in fact entirely apt. She asked that the spoiled immature brats who complain about not having “safe spaces” at our schools for infants, a.k.a. universities, understand what real evil is and come to appreciate how incredibly lucky and safe they are.
But to Bruni, this was just an example of how “anything and everything becomes prompt for a plaint, a rant, a riff.”
“I felt sick,” he wrote. “For a few hours, even a few days, I’d like to focus on the pain of Parisians . . . ”
On January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz., Jared Loughner murdered six people and gravely wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. That very day, based on nothing, Bruni’s New York Times colleague Paul Krugman wrote that the murders were a result of hate-filled rhetoric that saturates conservative and Republican life.
Did Bruni feel sick? He should have. Not only did Krugman not focus on the pain of the congresswoman and the murdered, but he lied about Republican rhetoric influencing the murderer.
Here’s another left-wing reaction to Paris.
British photographer Roger Hicks, author of 30 books on photography and a biography of the Dalai Lama, commenting in the New York Times on Bruni’s column, wrote: