What is it with headless humor these days?
The June 7 issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo arrives on the heels of the Manchester and London Bridge terrorist attacks. Indeed, the bubble remark–‘Too much is too much’–comes from remarks made by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the latter June 3 incidents.
The cover is tasteless. English-language media reaction is just starting to trickle in, but stay car-tooned. There will be lots of it. The cover line, translated, reads as ‘Multiculturalism is the British Way.’
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked a volleyball tournament in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 45 people, officials said.
Dozens more were wounded when the bomber, who was on foot and mingling with the crowd, detonated his explosives, said Mokhis Afgha, the spokesman for the governor of Paktika province.
“There were too many people gathered in the one place to watch the game. Dozens of others are wounded and we have reports that many of them are in critical condition.”
He said the attack happened during an inter-district volleyball tournament attended by large crowed in Yahyakhail district late Sunday afternoon.
“We need urgent help from the central government because we might need to transfer wounded people to Kabul for treatment.”
“There were too many people gathered in the one place to watch the game. Dozens of others are wounded and we have reports that many of them are in critical condition,” Afghan said. Read the rest of this entry »
A friend of mine sent me an article from Breitbart (here). I’d like to quote two paragraphs:
[A unit] of [Israeli] soldiers — which had gone into a mosque looking for weapons, explosives, and rockets — encountered a female suicide bomber who was about to detonate the belt she wore, which would have resulted in the deaths of the soldiers. One of the soldiers instinctively recited the opening words of the holiest Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”. The female suicide bomber hesitated and began trembling, giving the soldiers a chance to grab her and disable the device.
The soldiers then took her prisoner and turned her over to a counter-intelligence unit. Their investigation uncovered that the female suicide bomber’s mother was a Jew who had married a Palestinian in Israel and, after the wedding, was smuggled against her will into Gaza. There she lived a life filled with abuse and humiliation, and was basically a captive. In addition to the female suicide bomber, there were two smaller children as well. An armored force went in and rescued the two small children.
On first reading, I understood it to mean the Israeli soldier spoke the opening words of the prayer “Shema Yisrael” in an effort to appeal to the suicide bomber’s humanity, to weaken her resolve, invoking the universal fear of death, fear of “the final judgement”, a fear so primal that it transcends any one religion. A humbling and insightful way to disarm a human bomb.
Because the phrase “instinctively recited” is ambiguous, my first reading was wrong. I missed the real meaning.
On second reading, I understand it wasn’t a quick-thinking tactical maneuver. It was the Israeli soldier’s “I am about to die” moment. Confronting unavoidable death, speaking for himself and his fellow soldiers, he was kissing his ass goodbye. Not unlike a Christian’s invocation of “The Lord’s Prayer“, in a moment of mortal panic. The soldier wasn’t tying to weaken his attacker. He was preparing to die.
The Israeli soldier’s words had the unexpected effect of weakening the suicide bomber’s resolve. Who, unknown to him, was the daughter of a Jewish mother. And a victim herself. She understood this prayer, and trembled upon hearing it.
Which makes this passage even more chilling. And beautiful.
Is my second reading correct?
I’m interested in what other readers think. Read the rest of this entry »
Didier Nourisson, a spokesman for the embassy, said Friday that the man had been shot by an unidentified gunman.
France launched a military offensive in January to oust radical jihadists who had overtaken the major towns across northern Mali. The French military has since reduced its presence but still has about 3,200 members in its former colony.
Northern Mali has seen suicide bombing and mortar attacks aimed at French forces, but violent crime targeting foreigners in the capital, in the south, is rare.
Simon Shuster reports: Naida Asiyalova, the suicide bomber who blew herself up on Monday on a crowded bus in the Russian city of Volgograd, killing six people and wounding dozens more, was born in the town of Buynaksk, a huddle of mosques and squat apartment blocks in the foothills of the Russian Caucasus. For at least a year, the town has been under a so-called KTO regime, the Russian acronym for counter-terrorism operation, which allows security forces to conduct random searches, impose curfews and detain any foreigners who do not carry a special visitor’s permit, as happened to me this spring. At the checkpoint leading into town, the troops who stopped me could not say exactly how long the counter-terrorism operation had been going on. “A long time,” one of them said with a sigh. “Probably a couple of years. You should have known about it.” And when would it be over? “Not soon. Not with the Olympics coming up.” Read the rest of this entry »