Friday 13 November 2015


I'm gutted at what has happened tonight in Paris.

As you probably know I have a lot of friends there. I'm trying to contact them now to see if they are safe. Some have already replied. 

Paris is a big city.

En espérant que vous êtes, sains et saufs les amis


  1. I hope and pray your friends are safe and sound. Unfortunately,I know what you're experiencing; my wife lost her closest friend from childhood in the 11 September 2001 attack. I really hope your outcome (and theirs!) is better.

    1. Thanks Jon for your kind message. I've been in touch with most of them... Paris is a big city. The likelihood of someone I know being involved was small... but you know that it is a possibility.

    2. I'm very glad to read that your friends, as far as you know at this point (ironically 11:33 a.m. here; ah the magic of "time travel"), are safe.

    3. Thanks Jon. I've been in contact with everyone now. All well. Stunned though.

  2. Horrific events, I hope your friends are fine and that these senseless attacks cease.

    1. Thanks Jim.

      As I said, most have now been in touch by email.

      We've been lucky!

  3. I find myself torn between hopeless tears and vengeful fury. I am only consoled by the fact that the last member of my family to live in Paris moved away a while ago. Right now I want the security services to hunt down and destroy every last piece of filth that was involved in this attack...and then start on the rest of them in other European countries. Time to get serious with these bastards.

    1. President Hollande has promised to do that, with confirmation from many governments that they are with him.

      The world service covered mr Obama's statement, but mentioned other leaders like Merkel, and Cameron.

      Just let's hope they get the right people.

    2. A horrific and never justifiable death of those victims, and never justifiable the suicide of the perpetrators. Never justifiable either the deaths globally of 120 children every 6 minutes, that is 1200 every hour of every day because of the injustice of poverty and inequality.

    3. You're right James.

      We have a habit of being horribly upset by one off tragedies like Paris, or indeed Beirut like we nationally mourn the deaths of 20 people in a pile up, but we forget that every day there are people who die in one off car crashes, or kids that die from wars, poverty, stupidity, and old people who die of neglect and poverty and cold and hunger.

      It's sad that we can't see unnecessary deaths except when they come along in large numbers.

      A good point.

  4. Infinitely sad and what is even more sad that it is completely senseless and pointless. Sympathy with all involved.

    1. It will solve nothing, John.

      But it makes you think that, every day when the West bombs areas of Syria, the same thing is happening to their people. Just as it has done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      It may be time for the West to re-evaluate some of its Middle East strategy.

      It can't go on handing out death to their populations and expect that they will take it with equanimity.

      Think very carefully Cameron, before you start bombing Syria.

  5. Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
    Que ton nom soit sanctifié,
    Que ton règne vienne,
    Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.

    Donne-nous aujourd'hui notre pain de ce jour.
    Pardonne-nous nos offences
    Comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
    Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
    mais délivre-nous du mal,
    car c'est à toi qu'appartiennent le règne,
    la puissance et la gloire, aux siècles des siècles.


    1. Il y a longtemps que je lis «prière du Seigneur» en français ... ou en turc !!

      Merci bien.

  6. Lords prayer (In Turkish)
    Abana alathie fi asamawat,
    li yatakadas ismok,
    li ya’atie malakotok,
    litakon mashia tok,
    kama fisama’
    kathaleka ala al ard.
    A’atinia khubzana
    kafafa yawmina,
    wa igfer lana khatayana,
    kama nahnu naghfer la man akhta’a elayna,
    wa la tudkhilna fit a jareeb;
    laken najjina min ashireer.

    I'll put my name on it this time

  7. Are these attacks "senseless and pointless"?

    Coming a day after we're inundated with garbage about the "death" of the Mythical (in all senses of the word) "Jihadi John" I don't think so.

    No these attacks have been carefully thought out to lead to desired ends - but carefully thought by who exactly?

    1. Why do you think he is mythical, Kyle?

    2. The wonder to me Tris is with respect why people believe this rubbish.

      There has been no acts of "Islamic terrorism" in the UK since the Rigby killing 2 and half years ago - we're wide open to attack and yet we are told this is a hotbed of Islamic fanatics itching to kill us all!

      How convienient that all these fanatics want to do is fly to the middle east at their own expense and get themselves killed fighting Assad, essentially allying themselves with - you would think - their arch enemy Israel and the hated American infidels - funny that Tri don't you think?

    3. However ocassionally they need to produce wee bits of "Theatre" like the "vaporising" of Jihadi John just to make the connections no tae obvious!

    4. Oh I don;t believe anything that Westminster says about the threat. Of course i don;t believe anything they say about anything.

      But the threat is so they have the excuse to do what they are doing and observe our every movement "all for our safety" of course.

      But people like Jahadi John exist, and the threat does exist, just not as much as they say.

      The thing is if you want to fight in a war, you must accept that there will be casualties. That's why I ask Cameron to think carefully before he gets too involved in Syria. It's not all about the UK bombing them. They might just strike back.

  8. Absolutely horrific and barbaric. I can understand how relatives and friends must be feeling. I know 4 victims of a terrorist attack. The shock never leaves you.

    Thoughts and prayers must be with the victims and those affected. I believe there is a vigil in George Square, Glasgow later today.

    In the meantime, the bastards behind this atrocity - those who planned and organised this and others - need to be hunted down and either brought to justice or repaid in kind. Violence is not normally the answer, but as the French President put it, this is an act of war.


    1. Yes zog but where does the President need to go hunting for the ultimate "Planners and Organisers"?

      Given that ISIS/IS etc etc are the creations of "Western" Intelligence he probably won't have to hunt too far.

    2. Yes,are we bombing them for acts of terrorism against us or is it the other way round?
      Unfortunately,we are now beyond a diplomatic solution and degrading their military capability may be the only way to contain them.
      The lessons that need to be learned by people like Cameron is that when you perpetrate violence against others and create instability,there will always be consequences.
      Dreadful for the innocents caught up in this mess.

    3. Yes, it's war, Zog. But it has been for some time.

      It's just that the war that is being fought between the French and Syria has been taken on to the streets of Paris.

      Don't misunderstand me. I am horrified by what was done to perfectly innocent people having a Friday night out at football, rock concerts on in bars and restaurants. And I feel it personally, because it's in a place that I know and could have involved people i know.

      I can imagine these streets. I know what the look like, sound like, and can even imagine the smells coming from restaurants on a Friday night.

      I can't imagine what it is like in Homs. I've never been. But I bet death feels much the same to them as it does to Europeans.

      Whilst we must condemn this and find the people behind it (the perpetrators are all dead), we must remember that they didn't do this because they don't much care for Paris. They did it for what THEY consider an act of war on their country.

      And to be honest it is hard not to describe what the West is doing in Syria, as war.

      Note to Cameron. Think very carefully before you get involved in this war.

    4. tris

      Dont underestimate Camerons vampiric desire to have is hands dipped in innocent peoples blood. It consumes his every moment of every day.....

      Will he be the one Prime Minster without even a piddling little war and no
      private tete a tete with the President of the USA i DONT THINK SO !
      Cameron will do all he can to drag the UK into the conflagration.

      Although your wish to see a political and not an armed resolution
      to the ISIS phenomenon is one I agree with.
      I am afraid a comment pres Clinton made rings true here

      The people would rather the President of USA was Wrong and
      Strong rather than weak and right.

      My feeling is this is going to the deciding factor in any response and
      more innocent people will die alongside the bad but the number of the
      innocent will be considerably higher .

      Dont get me wrong I am no lefty bearded peacenik ( Conan ) but
      would like to see the bad dead asap but not at the price of killing
      the many innocent..............and a lawful trial would be best of all

    5. Well, I can't see Cameron being happy with the fact that he is being left behind here. He's not up on the top table with the big boys... and the statement form the White House, Obama saying that France was America's oldest ally, must have cut him to the quick.

      I'm far and away not clever enough to know how to solve what is happening in teh Middle East. I do know that a great deal of it has the stamp of the USA, Britain, Spain, France and Italy all over it.

      M Hollande is a left of centre president, with a right of centre foreign policy.

      What I say is that the West should beware that it can;t fight its wars on the enemy's territory and no expect the enemy to find ways of hitting back. I don't condone it, but surely anyone can see that if you bomb the hell out of Syria, at some point it is not beyond the bounds of reason that they will bomb you!

      Cameron should know this before he takes the UK to war so that he can play the big guy.

      he also needs to weigh it against how much good any war would do. Given that Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya have all ended in disaster and more unsettled populations, my reckoning is that unless Syria is handled differently it will end up the same way.

      I take your point about right and might. I remember saying to my mum on the day of the 11/9 bombing, when a bewildered Bush said that they would get and punish whoever had done this... I hope that in their rush to prove to the American people that they are taking action, they don't get the wrong people.

    6. You're a bit off the mark there Niko. "Si vis pacem, para bellum" is my motto. I don't want the barbarity of Trident, but I do want strong conventional forces in the Scots Republic.

    7. The Trident system isn't preparing for war though. It's penis extension for Eton Pig Boy.

    8. Dead right. It's revenge killing on a massive scale. If you have to use it, it has failed.

    9. Yes, but pointlessly, because your place won;t be there to see the damage you've done.

      In any case they will never use it. I think the dead pig got Dave's willie and he needs another one.

      I don't know what Blair's excuse was... although he went to oxford too, so...

  9. “It is very queer that the unhappiness of the world is so often brought on by small men.”
    ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

    1. Yep. Not really so strange. Small men have always been dangerous.

  10. I was stunned by the level of deaths last night in Paris Tris. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the barbarity of the situation. I know the old "eye for an eye" thingy is often used and I did at first think yes "got the murderous bastards" last night when I heard the elite police unit had cleared the theatre of the hostage killers. However, in reality logic says it would have been better to capture them alive to extract what information they could. Unfortunately hostage situations do not always grant us the time to sit back and think things through sometimes we just have to get in there and deal with the bastards so in last night's case I say well done to the elite unit that went in.

    I have not checked the news yet so am unaware of the latest from Paris but from what I learned last night it does appear to have been a rather large group of terrorists involved from the suicide bomber at Parc de France to the ,apparently, five murderers at the theatre/concert hall to the drive by killers.

    If there is one thing that comes out of this for me is that I worry about the safety for law abiding Muslim people throughout France. I am deeply concerned that there are those in France, as there are here in the UK, who will see last night's events as an excuse to go out and seek retaliation. I sincerely hope this does not happen but heaven forbid it does then who knows where it will end.

    1. I have no problem in a situation like teh music hall one last night, Arbroath, with the police killing the murders. That's an on the spot situation. As it goes I think some of them blew themselves up. But to save more innocent lives the police were right to kill those they could.

      I have problems with cold blooded killings of "suspected" terrorists. In English law you;'re supposed to be innocent until you are proved guilty. Whist none is going to lose a lot of sleep over john, I fear that given the power to order these things, Cameron and his likes will not stop there.

      I too worry for ordinary Muslims. Apparently someone in London tried to throw one under a train this morning... but I'm not sure about that. Just something I saw on Twitter.

      There is a great deal of hate going about today as a result, and of course people will get it wrong. Just like the stupid woman (Big mags was it?) who led a murderous gang to the offices of a paediatrician because the silly cow though he was a kiddy fiddler, there will be people after anyone with brown skins, no matter what their nationality or religion.

      It's not a happy world.

  11. While I support definitive action, it's with a high degree of caution.

    And I agree with the comments about Cameron. He seems to think he is Churchill, and while old WInston was a strong character, his military strategic skills were seriously lacking - Gallipoli in WW1 and Norway during WW2. But he had the sense to listen to his military advisers.
    We all remember the ballsup by Hague in Libya. Cameron would do well to listen to others first.

    I too worry for the innocent muslims and refugees in Europe. The nutters are going to use this as an excuse. Also, the idiots on twitter with highly offensive comments. Let's get them named and shamed.

  12. Don't get me wrong here Tris, I have absolutely no problem with the elite police unit blowing away these cowards last night. It is just sometimes I wish they could take at least one alive to *ahem* question them so that they can acquire more information about who is behind these atrocities and hopefully close them down, dead or alive so to speak!

    So far today I have read about Gatwick being evacuated ... suspect package (well there's a new one ... YAWN!) and an Air France flight from Amsterdam to Paris was evacuated because of a Twitter threat.

    As I have just asked on Twitter and Facebook:

    is it just me that thinks only COWARDS send veiled threats via twitter, scrawled notes and annon telephone calls they don't do it in PERSON!

    I am sick to death, literally, of the media tippy toeing around these COWARDS!

    The time has been well past for them to be called out for what they are ... COWARDS! I will NOT apologise for calling a spade a spade and consequently I will NEVER apologise for calling a COWARD a COWARD!

    On the Big Mags thingy I seem to have a vague recollection of that happening. As I recall though she, and her *ahem* family, had their fingers in other *cough* pies, namely the local drug scene. I suspect this incident was her pathetic attempt to push folks attention away from them onto something, anything, else in the vain hope that all the media attention would just flitter away.

  13. Tris.....I'm glad that your friends are safe. And mourn for the others. Also, since 9/11 was brought up in these comments, I hope that another reference to the American experience with terrorism 14 years ago will not be out of order.

    Lord knows I'm no friend of George W. Bush or many of the American policies that have been pursued after 9/11. But I was always surprised at the extent to which many Europeans.....after sending all their pro forma condolences after 9/11.......failed to grasp the national American trauma that caused a barely competent American president and a good part of the American population to go bat s*** crazy.

    Imagine if what happened in France had NOT simply resulted in between100 and 200 dead, and several hundred wounded........but instead had resulted in 3000 dead, many more wounded (adjust for population if you want to), the two largest buildings in Paris reduced to smoldering ruins, a building housing the French military establishment partially destroyed, and the knowledge that the Elysee Palace would have been destroyed except for the heroic suicidal actions of a group of hostages.

    THAT'S what happened to America and Americans.

    So it may sound churlish, but I think the Americans understand this situation a lot better than the Europeans, and the American condolences for France are likely more deeply felt than the European condolences for the Americans ever were.

    1. Well, you have a point on scale there Danny. And I think we don;t want to get into a who cared more argument, as we couldn't measure it

      But, when this happened to America, it was something that had been happening for a long time in Europe. In Germany there were various groups... I seem to recall Badder Meinhoff, and Red Brigades, although they may have been Italian. There were many in Spain with all the separatist movements. ETA, ... and in England and Ireland there was teh IRA and all teh protestant groups which operated in Northern Ireland.

      We may have seemed a little blasé about it, becasue there was a time when hardly a month went by without some atrocity being carried out... so we were used to it.

      I think the French were the first to go to America and offer support to Bush. Chirac must have fount that a trial!!! Not the support bit, but just trying to talk to Bush would have been trying. Blair never noticed because his tongue was deep in Mr Bush's posterior.

      As I said earlier, Mr Obama landed a swipe of the Eton Pig Boy, by saying that frnace was their oldest ally.

      I bet Cameron's wee heart was broken.

      So that's something cheering on such a gloomy cold miserable day.

    2. Points well taken Tris, although I frankly think that you dismiss the issue of "scale" a little too casually. When it involves death and destruction, especially as it relates to national politics and policies, it's ALL about scale it seems to me.

      Great comment about Cameron! I too noticed that the President and State Department had trotted out the old (historically accurate) chestnut about France being our "oldest ally." Yes, in 1781, the French fleet bottled up the British fleet at Yorktown, Virginia, leaving no avenue of escape for Lord Cornwallis from George Washington's advancing revolutionary army. Cornwallis' army was the second entire army that the British lost in America, and Parliament finally decided enough was enough. But that day at Yorktown may have been the very last day that we agreed with our "oldest ally" on much of anything.....LOL.

    3. I certainly do remember what happened at Lockerbie Conan, and the mindless demand from some American Senators that the government of Scotland come to Washington to explain themselves about the release of the alleged bomber. I thought Salmond handled that perfectly and said so. However, I was less than pleased when I encountered the suggestion here in the comments that in terms of the valid concern of the Congress about the American lives lost, that I should adjust the number of dead on a per capita basis considering the populations of Scotland and the USA.

    4. Danny, at the time I remember comments from rather ignorant US citizens who commented that if such acts of terrorism should happen upon Scottish soil, I may think differently.

      Not in those words of course...

      The great libertarian SF writer Robert Heinlein in Starship Troopers called it.
      When talking about an alien attack on earth which amounted in a huge amount of casualties, his character said you cannot measure humans as if they were potatoes.

      Should we go to war over one potato or a sackful?

    5. @Conan.....I'm sure you're right in that recollection. Which agrees with my recollection about the absurd discussion of whether the numbers should be adjusted for national population. As for the concept of the "scale" of human tragedy, I think the sad reality is that in the world of politics and policy, there's a point at which a relatively small number of deaths by terrorism is considered personal misfortune requiring legal action becomes a national calamity justifying de facto war. I'm no fan of G.W.Bush, but I certainly understood why he and the clear majority of Americans considered themselves to be at war after 9/11; and why, when the American special ops team had Bin Laden in their sights, they didn't even consider "arresting" him. (Much European hand wringing about American "war crimes" for this and other actions aside.)