Charlotte Allen has a great post this morning on the pianist who set up shop and played John Lennon's vacuous song "Imagine" just outside Paris' Bataclan theatre, where Islamic terrorists gunned down at least eighty people.
He is drawing hundreds of Parisians with this appalling display of sentimentality.
Over at City Journal, the French intellectual Pascal Bruckner, who emerged into the public eye as one of the "New Philosophers" of the seventies and eighties, has a long but must-read piece that is the antidote to Imagine school of responding to death and destruction.
Bruckner says that our response to terrorism of the sort we witnessed in Paris must be "stripped of all sentimentality."
Bruckher's piece is harsh and there are portions of it with which you might disagree (I did). But it is a powerful, provocative article in which Bruckner describes shootings and decapitations as "powerful aphrodisiacs for radical Islamists, moved as they are by the voluptuous passion of the crime." He also cautions against the "blind reprisals" he sees being advocated by what he calls the "extreme Right." "What, then, is to be done?" Bruckner asks, replying:
We change nothing of our habits; we live as if terrorism did not exist, going about our jobs with the usual nonchalance. We counter the assassins with the disdain of the civilized.
Domestically, we suspend the constitutional rights of imprisoned jihadists, and gather them in internment camps, as has been proposed. We subject all individuals flagged as terrorism suspects to preventative incarceration and take away the freedom of the 3,000 individuals within our borders listed as potentially dangerous islamists. We neutralize the militants who have returned from Syria, unceremoniously expel questionable imams and preachers of hatred, and close Salafist mosques.
This is tough stuff. The idea of internment camps goes against our grain. But it gets tougher:
We will have to establish a conditional hospitality, stripped of all sentimentality, in which every candidacy will be carefully examined—a policy subject to the immediate closing of the borders as necessary. The assassins have won a first round and have brought in an ample harvest of corpses. It is our duty to destroy the assassins.
This has a fierceness that only a French intellectual can muster.
I am not willing to go as far as Bruckner in many instances, but I do think it is time for the West to react with something beyond sentimentality and mourning when ther is an attack.
No more imagining, let's get real.