Provocation is no defence for the Jihadi murderers

My latest article on MercatorNet looks at the issue of provocation and appeasement in relation to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Inspired by Throwcase’s post:

Common sense, like bush-fire preparedness or avoiding dangerous wild animals, implies a kind of natural law or cause-and-effect sequence over which we are the master. To put Jihadists in the same category as dangerous animals and natural disasters is understandable, yet hardly an inspiring or reassuring response to such violence. These commentators are not quite saying, “Don’t like being murdered for insulting Mohammed? Don’t insult Mohammed!” but the logic plays dangerously close to such a conclusion; a conclusion for which the murderers themselves are striving.

2 thoughts on “Provocation is no defence for the Jihadi murderers

  1. On the subject of bushfires and common sense:

    A truly terrifying example of the dangers of conforming to irrational rules. A must read.

    Here is a selection of quotes:

    “No one at the command centre seems to have grasped…that in the face of the uncontrollable fires of 7 February, there was nothing more important than to warn citizens about the looming danger. Yet even if someone at the centre had grasped this, it is not clear that they would have acted…no one thought it their responsibility to take the lead.

    The strange rigidity the stay-or-go policy had created was soon revealed in the evidence given to the commission by the most senior policeman at the IECC on 7 February, Superintendent Rod Collins.
    ….Collins was utterly convinced that police involvement in any bushfire evacuation was out of the question. The settled bushfire policy the police operated under was stay or go. It could not be abandoned in mid-stream. If someone from the CFA had asked the police after midday to organise an evacuation, he told the commission he would have declined.
    ….Collins recognised that under certain circumstances the choice the policy offered citizens might need to be rephrased as “leave early or stay and die”.

    …Because of the false empirical assumptions of the stay-or-go policy, many of those at the IECC seem to have convinced themselves that if last-minute warnings triggered flight, this would pose a deadlier threat than staying put. Because of the ambiguity which surrounded the issuing of warnings as a result of the stay-or-go philosophy, many of those who worked at the local ICCs, which were responsible for issuing the warnings, had clearly come to think that warning communities was at most a second-order responsibility. In turn, no one who worked on the CFA and DSE websites at the command centre seems to have thought that either the quality of the information in the warnings coming from the ICCs, or the speed at which they were posted, was of any great importance.

    Far too few inside the firefighting bureaucracies were willing on 7 February to break the rules, to disobey authority or to act spontaneously at time of crisis…
    At every level, the professionals inside the CFA, and no doubt the DSE, were imprisoned by their organisations’ mind-numbing bureaucratic rules. Conformity to rules was, in turn, the enemy of judgment, commonsense and moral responsibility….
    The answer to the question of why we weren’t warned on 7 February requires not only the forensic capacity of a royal commission but also a sociologist with the capacity to illuminate the strange character of our postmodern world.”

    • Pretty disturbing. We’ve just had a spate of bushfires in the hills around Adelaide. I’d love to live in the hills, and our CFS seems pretty good, but I think the ideal is to build in such a way that our home would survive a fire.

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