Salon: Paris Was Wearing A Short Skirt


We have only ourselves to blame for the Paris outrage, Salon has argued, again – just in case it failed to offend enough people the first time it salivated over the ISIS atrocity as payback time for the West and conservatives especially.

This time the preening apologist for terror is one Patrick L Smith, Salon’s “foreign affairs columnist” and a “longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker” as well as “an essayist, critic and editor”.

His piece is headlined:

We brought this on ourselves: After Paris, it is time to square our “values” with our history
The West’s behaved horrifically in Middle East for decades. We can’t be surprised by Paris. Let’s look in a mirror

Smith has certainly stared long and hard into the mirror. And it’s clear he’s infatuated with what he sees.

You can tell from the (cackhanded attempt at) grandiloquence of his opening sentence:

Another horrific attack emanates from the shattered, shredded Middle East into the beating hearts of Western civilization.

And from priceless passages like this:

“Is this a September 11 for the French?” my other half asked as we watched the news last night. “Let there be no question,” I replied.

Yep, because it’s all about you, isn’t it, Patrick? You’re kind of like Gore Vidal would have been had been wiser, better connected and more fantastically opinionated and pleased with himself.

He saves his finest moment, though, till the final paragraph where we see him attempting to work up some empathy for the dozens of innocent people shot, blown up, and eviscerated for the crime of trying to enjoy a Friday evening at a rock concert or a restaurant or a bar. But he can’t even bring himself to utter formulaic words of sympathy. Instead, he manages with the most extraordinary sophistry to suggest that the only sensible way to “honor” the dead is to accept that it is all the West’s fault and act accordingly.

For now, the phrase “thought and prayers” having been devalued to the point it is little better than saying, “Let’s have lunch,” only this: Let the police and the intelligence services do their work. The best way, I would say the only way, we can properly honor those just killed or wounded or now suffering trauma is to ask why they have met this fate—and then begin constructing the effective response that has so far eluded all of our leaders.

Some will argue that articles like this are best ignored. I disagree. Salon reaches an audience of around 12 million people every month. We need to know what writers like Patrick L Smith are telling them in order to understand the Western cultural malaise and ignorance which helped make ISIS possible and which also are going to make it so much harder to defeat.


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