In his book Give War a Chance author PJ O'Rourke recalled the phrase "An acceptable level of violence." It referred to the strife in the '70s and '80s in Northern Ireland, where Catholics and Protestants killed each other in clumps (with the British somewhat on the Protestant side...or maybe it was the other way around). If you haven't read it, you should.
Tonight, in excess of eighty people killed in the French city of Nice by some asshole driving a semi. Early reports claim he got out of the truck with a weapon, but was soon "neutralized." I'll bet.
At what point does the world - or at least the leaders who determine what response is appropriate - decide that NO level of violence is acceptable? Whoever this poor child was, he or she will not be accompanying us into an uncertain future in which some die so that others do not have to face the reality that there are those among us who will use any tool at their disposal to kill indiscriminately.
Was this another ISIS demonstration project? At this point no one knows. Apparently, though, there was celebration within the borders of their territory. It is not only shameful, it is an act of barbarity. It demands a response.
Today I read something quite astonishing, even among punditry known for cranking out today's dose of prose untethered to their previous scribbling. Terrorosts, the author claimed, do not represent the kind of existential threat posed during the Cold War. Although thousands are killed a few at a time, life goes on...for the rest of us. There is no need to panic, things are better than they were.
The level of violence, though tragic, is acceptable?
How have we gotten to this point? Does anyone know the way?