Death toll in Barcelona rises to 13, more than 100 injured

More murder by vehicle. First Heather Heyer, 32, in a terrorist murder in Charlottesville. Now multiply the sorrow by more than a hundred with another terrorist attack in Barcelona. Here’s CNN’s latest, which has now been updated by the New York Times:

  • The attack: A van plowed into a crowd of people in Barcelona near Las Ramblas, an area popular with tourists.
  • The victims: At least 13 people were killed, and more than 100 were injured.
  • The arrests: Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said two suspects have been arrested. Police are treating the incident as an act of terrorism.
  • And ISIS: The terror group claims attackers as “soldiers of the Islamic state” — but it has not explicitly claimed responsibility for attack.

The New York Times adds this:

Two people were later arrested, including a Moroccan man whose identification documents had been used to rent the van. But the Barcelona police said neither was believed to be the driver, who remained at large.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assault, which shattered a peaceful summer afternoon in one of Europe’s most picturesque cities. President Trump and other Western leaders quickly condemned the attack and pledged cooperation.

I’m in tears thinking of the families and loved ones of the dead and wounded, all asking themselves “Why? Why X?”, where X stands for so many names. And there are no good answers. The dead and wounded were all innocents, people who did nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The world, it seems is falling apart, and what can we do to stop the violence? I see no solution. In U.S. we have no leadership save an unhinged narcissist, someone being repudiated by his own party. If there is a solution, it has to involve firm but empathic leadership, and that’s not on tap.

Yes, we can level blame, and there will be plenty of that in the days to come. But I just want it to stop. Words can hurt feelings, but they don’t take somebody away permanently from those who love them.

And I don’t want to show pictures of bodies, as there are also plenty of those on the news. I want to show this: the reaction of people on the Ramblas in Barcelona.

(From the NYT): Stunned onlookers minutes after the van ran down pedestrians. Credit Sergi Alcazar/El Nacional

Downtown Barcelona on Thursday after a van crashed into pedestrians. Credit David Armengou/European Pressphoto Agency


  1. BobTerrace
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    It is disheartening. It seems like using vehicles to run down pedestrians seems to be the latest weapon of choice for terrorists. I can’t conceive of a way to prevent that.

    • yazikus
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Autonomous cars?

      • BobTerrace
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        We are a long way from that happening for all vehicles.

        • yazikus
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          And even then it would be but a band-aid, I know. Getting humans to stop killing other humans is going to be hard.

          • Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            That is the case. One way or another, our species is very deadly, to itself, to other species, to its environment. Not completely knocking it, c’mon, Beethoven’s 9th, 4th movement, literally angelic, even if in German.

            • Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

              Some humans create misery. Some create bliss. Let’s all strive to be in Beethoven’s category.

              • jwthomas
                Posted August 18, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

                LvB wasn’t the nicest guy you’d want to meet. His creations, like those of many troubled geniuses, transcend his personality.

      • Posted August 18, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        And then the “bad guys” will go after their computer and control systems.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        When autonomous cars do become available (still a long way off imo) don’t you think they’ll have “manual overrides” so the human can take over if he/she wants?

        • yazikus
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          I think it will go both ways. I imagine they’ll have a function to prevent intoxicated driving, and in the same way the car will assess risk of rear-end vs. swerving, I imagine it would stop if heading into a crowd of people.

          They will certainly have to market with the override option, as so many USians identities are tied up in being able to drive themselves.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          That depends. Are these cars made by our ape overlords or our robot overlords. 😉

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      We are all Israel now. It was only a year or so ago when I told my Israeli friend to be safe as she went shopping for wedding dresses with her daughter. Now here we are.

      • Wunold
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

        But we are as safe as we were years before, as terrorism only adds a tiny fraction of our chances to die prematurely, compared to much greater everyday threats like accidents, diseases, and domestic violence.

        I presume that most of the readers here live in first world countries and thus are much, much safer than the rest of the world’s population.

        I don’t want to belittle your fears or your laudable concern for your friend, but I want to remind everyone about the immense safety they’re still living in. Don’t sour your lives with angst.

        The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized.

        – Bruce Schneier, cryptographer and security specialist

        • Phil Giordana FCD
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          I live in a first-world country. I’m not scared of terrorists.

          It didn’t stop them from taking 86 lives less than 2 kilometers from my flat. In front of close friends who are still suffering from PTSD because of it.

          • Wunold
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 5:02 am | Permalink

            Of course fearlessness doesn’t stop terrorism, but the chances of it happening to the average First World citizen are extremely low compared to many other risks.

            That said, I’m not sure what your actual argument is. Care to elaborate?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          I never said that we were any less safe. I never said that I had “fears” or that my life was “soured with Angst”. I simply said that the rest of the world is now confronted with the same issues Israel faces all the time.

          • Wunold
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

            My apologies if I misunderstand you.

            But what do you mean by comparing “us” to Israel if not that we’re (significantly) less safe now?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

              Israel recently had a bunch of killings where terrorists got into cars and rammed into people.

              • Wunold
                Posted August 21, 2017 at 1:09 am | Permalink

                Thank you very much for the clarification.

                I myself wouldn’t say that we’re “all Israel now” because of this one similarity. We’re far from the frequency of terrorist attacks on Israel and from its every day counter measures.

                To pick up your example, I don’t see any reason to wish my local friends safety on their shopping tours now any more than in the decades before, and I’m living in a large city where a terrorist car attack with multiple deaths already happened.

                Thus, I was glad to hear from news reports that the people of Barcelona openly defied any impression they could be scared by such attacks. It remains to see if they can keep that promise.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, these attacks essentially cost nothing to mount, and require virtually no planning or assistance from confederates, making them all but impossible to prevent.

      • darrelle
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Yes. Anyone with sufficient motivation can wreak havoc like this. It is pretty much impossible for any conceivable security to be 100% effective at preventing attacks like this.

  2. Richard Sanderson
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Another terrible attack. Seems no end in sight.

    Doesn’t help that we have the far left and far right encouraging violence, and so-called “rational” people endorsing all this.

    One silly “hot take” was from Peter Ferguson (Humanisticus), who after the Cville attack, said it showed “why we need Antifa” to oppose far right Nazis, or something similar. I hope that after this latest attack, “rationals” like Peter don’t suggest we “need” groups like “Defend Evrope”, or similar far right groups, to defend against Islamists.

    This is the kind of warped logic I am seeing from way too many “liberals” who have either trashed their reputation, or are on the way to doing so.

    • Craw
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Depressing that so many people now seem to think the answer is the mob.

      • Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        History repeats itself. The Somme followed one crackpot’s idea for vengeance. We must be very careful.

  3. Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    A week ago, a Nazi drove into a crowd and killed a woman; Drumpf took days to condemn it and wouldn’t call it terrorism. And he went out of his way to praise other Nazis who stood with the killer, as well as the military leader of the insurgency responsible for orders of magnitude more American deaths than any other in history.

    Today, somebody from ISIS drove into a crowd and killed dozens; Drumpf immediately condemned it as terrorism. And also perpetuated a rather disgusting and particularly violent and reprehensible urban myth involving bullets dipped in pig’s blood.

    The only good to come out of this…is the unambiguous message sent by the Joint Chiefs that they will not support this seditionist Resident in his efforts to reclaim victory for the Slaveholder Rebellion.

    I do believe we’re in the beginning of the end. All the cards are now on the table; the only question is who will stand with whom.



    • Max Blancke
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      When the people in Barcelona were run down, they were shopping and walking with their kids.
      When the woman in Charlottesville was hit, she had been chasing the car, and hitting it with the pole she brought to the protest as a weapon. Her death, and all of them are unjust and horrible to contemplate. But the two circumstances are very different.
      Barcelona was planned in advance, and involved multiple persons. We don’t really know what led to Charlottesville yet.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Can you provide a reliable citation for your claim that Heather Heyer was chasing the car that ran her down and attacking it with a weapon?

      • sensorrhea
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Where are you getting your information about Heyer?

        Meanwhile white supremacists are continue to celebrate her death and issue death threats to her grieving mother.

        Sounds like terrorism to me.

        • yazikus
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          I just watched the Vice documentary, and if I’m not mistaken he is parroting Cantwell, a white supremacist who called the death a justified action against animals.

          • Max Blancke
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

            I don’t know who Cantwell is. And her death was not justified.

            But as far as the video goes-

            She is the person with the pack and the stick who rushes the car right before it starts to back up.

            • sensorrhea
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

              So what are you implying by mentioning the fact that she was “chasing the car” after it had plowed intentionally into the crowd? Shouldn’t everyone have done so? It needed to be stopped before it killed/injured more.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

              How is Heather Heyer different from any victims killed in Barcelona while trying to stop the attackers?

            • Rasmo carenna
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

              To rush to the car AFTER it has ALREADY attacked is absolutely not the same as going after an innocent driver who fears for his live…

              • Craw
                Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

                And even if it was it would be irrelevant beacuse 1) it’s not excuse for hitting her with a car and 2) there would be someone else who didn’t use a stick anyway.

                This kind of distraction is like blowing sand in peoples’ eyes. Fields attacked people with a car.

            • Phil Giordana FCD
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

              By that video, she was among people who were trying to stop the car AFTER it had started plowing into the crowd.

          • Max Blancke
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 5:21 am | Permalink

            I don’t know who Cantwell is. And her death was not justified.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        @ Max Blancke “…when the woman [Heather Heyer] in Charlottesville was hit, she had been chasing the car, and hitting it with the pole she brought to the protest as a weapon…” Bullshit Mr. Blancke

        I’ve opened your linked video in VLC media player which allows one to step through it frame by frame. The woman shown at around 0:07 running up behind the vehicle IS NOT Heyer. Shame on you not checking before spewing nonsense.

        ‘Video woman’ is of slim to ‘gym emaciated’ build wearing skin-tight black leggings to the waist [no skirt] – at 0:18 when she is on the ground, on her left side & is turned on her back, we see she hasn’t an ounce of excess fat & looks to be around 18 to 21 years old. We also get to see her face full on for one frame – it ain’t Heyer.

        Heather Heyer was a 32-year old legal assistant with brown eyes, freckles & a full face who carried a ‘comfortable’ amount of weight who was at the demo with office friends.

        The young woman in the video has a ‘sleeve’ tattoo running down her right upper arm & is wearing a skin-tight, floral, sleeveless, short midriff-exposing blouse. Along with the leggings it is clear we are looking at a runner or a conscientious gym user.

        Not Heyer

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          Change “left side” above to “right side”

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        “When the woman in Charlottesville was hit, she had been chasing the car, and hitting it with the pole she brought to the protest as a weapon.”

        Supposing this is true: does hitting a car with a pole warrant death penalty in Virginia?

        • Pierluigi Ballabeni
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          I should have said: “in your opinion” in instead of “in Virginia”.

      • Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        I will merely note, as dispassionately as I can, that your story is a blatant, trivially-debunked lie; and that you then turn that lie into Putin-style whataboutery in support of a Nazi driving a car into a crowd of pedestrians.

        Have you no shame?



        • BobTerrace
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          Next, someone will blame Heyer’s murder on Hillary’s emails.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


            Get Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz on it stat!

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          Your false equivalency is easily debunked too.
          And casting everyone not agreeing with your stance as a Nazi isn’t helping either.

          That is one reason Trump is there.

          And why are you bringing Putin into this?

          The fact is, it is easier to recognize and condemn Islamic terrorist attacks than to exactly what went on at Chancellorsville.

          • Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


            Just, no.

            The Confederacy was seditious rebellion against the United States with the goal of forcing all states to embrace slavery; there can be no civilized defense of it.

            And Nazism is all about killing every last Jew and other undesirable of impure blood — as the marchers in Charlottesville (not “Chancellorsville”) made absolutely clear in no uncertain terms.

            You, in defending them, in pretending that it’s not easy to recognize Rebels and Nazis and their raw hatred and violent terrorism, even as they’re dressed in full regalia and chanting their slogans and killing those who reject their insanity…you are promoting slavery, rebellion, and Nazism.

            You should be shamed of yourself, hopefully to the point of refraining from further public endorsements of the most vile blights upon humanity in recent history.



            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

              I don’t think the southern states wanted to enforce slavery on everyone else.

              But, I am not talking about the actual Nazis, I am talking about the more average right wing type. Not Nazis and not comparable to Nazis.

              Ans, so now you have cast every Southern State American that possesses any sense of their history as being as bad as Nazis.

              There is still no comparison between Nazis and the ones you so readily condemn.

              • Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think the southern states wanted to enforce slavery on everyone else.

                Then you don’t know your American history. One of the key policy points acting as a final straw was the South’s insistence that the North not only must return escaped slaves, but that Southern slavers should be permitted to move to the North and bring their slaves with them still enslaved — thereby turning Northern states into slave states.

                Col. Ty Seidule, head of West Point’s Department of History, has a superlative five-minute lecture that you should listen to before further promoting sedition.



            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

              If you really think that it is true that Trump and the bulk of those right wingers ‘really’ want to kill all those people, well, I think you are wrong and extremely hyperbolic.

              If it is true, then, you have an interesting country and the education system needs revision.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

              And finally, rebellion. Rebellion? What? Why?

              The United States is a product of rebellion.

              Are you going to give yourself back to the Queen?

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

              I have watched that short video.
              I didn’t see much about forcing Northern States to adopt slavery.

              Lincoln talked about after the war began.

              The video mentioned dissatisfaction with New York for not allowing them to bring slaves.

              But that is not the same as wanting enforcing slavery on everyone else.

              Nothing was said about enforcing it.

              But still, we are off point.

              he point being that there is no equivalency between the Charlottesville incident and Islamic terrorist attacks.

              Islamic terrorists actually target civilians to try and kill and hurt as many as they can.

              That is not what happened at Charlottesville.

              The other point is casting everyone into the Nazi class.

              • Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

                I didn’t see much about forcing Northern States to adopt slavery.

                You’ve admitted ignorance about American history, and that video made clear that no less an authority than Lincoln himself understood that either the country would be all-slave or all-free. Any introductory history of the Civil War, any casual perusal of contemporary documents will confirm this point. Your continued insistence otherwise is exemplary of KKK propaganda; why on Earth are you parroting it?

                Islamic terrorists actually target civilians to try and kill and hurt as many as they can.

                That is not what happened at Charlottesville.

                True. In Charlottesville, it was a Nazi terrorist, not an Islamic terrorist, who actually targeted civilians and tried to kill and hurt as many as he could. And he wasn’t as effective at the job as the Islamic terrorists.

                But why are you downplaying Nazi terrorism in comparison with Islamic terrorism? That, again, is exactly what Drumpf himself is doing — as are all the other Nazis, Confederates, and other white supremacists. And they’re the only ones doing so.

                What is it about Nazi terrorism that you find so favorable over Islamic terrorism? Should Ms. Heyer’s feel privileged that it was a pureblooded Nazi who killed her mother rather than one of those mudblood Muslims? Why are you even engaging in such an olympics of terrorist victimhood?

                The other point is casting everyone into the Nazi class.

                For the umpteenth fucking time, James Alex Fields is a fucking Nazi!

                Derek Weimer says he taught Fields in three classes at Cooper High School in Union, Ky. Weimer says Fields was intelligent and didn’t cause trouble. But he says the quiet boy was also deeply into Adolf Hitler and white supremacy. Weimer says he did his best to steer Fields away from those interests and thought he had succeeded in doing so. On hearing about the incident in Charlottesville, Weimer said he felt that he failed as a teacher. (Source: NPR)

                You do realize that there are actual Nazis, right? That they’re not faerytale characters?



              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted August 18, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

                Lincoln said that after the war had begun.

                Anyway if you are going to keep on equating that Charlottesville protest I have nothing more to say.

                The notion is absurd.

              • Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

                Lincoln said that after the war had begun.

                Oh, good grief.

                There are only two possible explanations for such a statement from you.

                Either your ignorance of American antebellum history is complete, and this is your very first exposure to it and you’re determined to perversely argue in favor of your preconceived idealized conception of the American South…

                …or you’re a fellow traveler and parroting the straight-down-the-middle party-line propaganda and using your declared foreign origin to lend the propaganda an air of legitimacy.

                Neither position is respectable nor defensible, and you should be profoundly ashamed either way. Ashamed of your determination to call black white despite complete ignorance, or ashamed to promote racist bigotry without the courage to openly stand for what you are, it doesn’t matter. But shame is what you should be feeling right now.

                I mean, really? You just watched a five-minute introductory lecture by the American Army’s officer-training academy’s head history professor debunking these hateful lies you’re insisting on perpetuating, and you’re still trying to pretend that maybe he’s confused? What on Earth makes you think that you know more about American military history than the Army officer in charge of teaching it to the next generation of Army officers?



              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted August 18, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

                Equating the Charlottesville protest with Islamic terrorists.
                People who set out to murder and maim as many people as possible.

                Time and time again.

                That may have been the case with one person at that rally.

                That you keep casting them all as the same and as guilty as mass murderers is a problem.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

                I don’t know why you are going on about slavery and the South and the war.

                In that video the guy says that it was true, at the beginning of the war that it was fought to keep the union together.

                Obviously the whole thing was fought essentially because the Southern slave owners wanted to keep slaves.

                But, again so what, that is is not what is under discussion and your diverting and and shaming is pretty nasty. And your typical American arrogance.

                For you to make out that I am somehow supporting are excusing slavery because I am trying to make a point about current events is something you should be ashamed of.

                You said “The Confederacy was seditious rebellion against the United States with the goal of forcing all states to embrace slavery”

                Prove it. Prove that the South started the war to force all the other states to embrace slavery.

                One politicians opinion in a campaign speech is not enough to demonstrate let alone prove anything.

                I said I don’t think that is the case from my leager understanding of it and through listening to many other American youtubers.

                And watching as lot of Americana shows. We are flooded with American culture here.

                Ken Burns civil war for example. Or listening to Dan Carlin, but I can’t remember where.

                But, even so, so what. Your claims are that all the demonstrates at the unite the right rally were as bad as the worst Nazi or slavery supporter.

                Prove that too.

                Get some current sayings from them where they call for slavery or call for killing anyone.

                “Jews will not replace us” is not enough. Prove our contention.

                You said and implied Trump supports Nazis and white supremacists, when he outright condemned them. So what you said was untrue.

                The way you make your point true is calling the other person a liar.

                The real shit thing about all this is that your absurd posturing and hyperbole forces me, and people like me to seem to be aligning with the right simply by pointing out your distortions of the truth.

                All this crap about the civil war is ridiculous.

                And as I said. Prove your claims.

                Prove that all those demonstrators want slavery back and want to kill the Jews.

                Prove that all of them are the same as that car driver.
                That all and any of them would do or support driving trucks through crowds of totally unaware man women and children on some main street. Not at a demonstration where two sides were doing battle.

                (I am not justifying anything here, so don’t go there.)

                Find something other than your mere opinion showing the equivalence between countless planned murderous attacks by Islamic terror and these Alt Right types.

              • Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

                Your entire screed here could have been a copy / paste out of a KKK pamphlet.

                And, honestly, that’s the only reply necessary, and all you deserve.




              • Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

                One addendum, because it is in today’s New York Times and it paints your portrait perfectly:



        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know why I thought you mentioned Putin. Disregard that part.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Ignore “Chancellorsville” too I assume

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

              Oops, I actually thought I spell checked it.

              But my new glasses haven’t arrived yet.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Which other Nazis that stood with the killer did he praise?

      • Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Drumpf made perfectly clear that he thinks there were lots of very fine people there that night who merely wanted to preserve their “heritage.” Never mind that said “heritage” included swastikas, chanting “blood and soil,” and giving Nazi salutes….



        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          So they are Nazis are they?

          All the people there were not Nazis, that is just false.

          It is this casting of everybody that isn’t left, and that that makes them punch worthy that has led, in part, to, one, the violence, put more particularly, that seeming alliance of right wingers with Nazis and other extremes.

          • Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            Those starting the riot who weren’t Nazis were Confederate Rebels, and the stated purpose of the riotous rally was to promote white supremacist racism. Everybody who showed up on that side knew exactly that it would be made up of Nazis and Rebels and their bedfellows. This wasn’t, say, a Young Republicans get-out-the-vote rally that got out of hand; it was the worst scum of humanity banding together to foment hatred and violence.

            That you are continuing your whataboutery in defense of Nazis, Rebels, and racists puts you, wittingly or otherwise, squarely in bed with them. Why you should wish to do so is utterly beyond me, save unless you’re actually in bed with them.



        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Trump condemned those extremest.
          He did. Why are people saying he didn’t?

          • Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            His exact words were, “You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides.”

            Rebels and Nazis are most emphatically not “very fine people”; they are, indeed, the dictionary example of the worst people in modern society.



            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

              Yes, but he did condemn Nazis and white supremacists and the rest.

              Again with the rebels, your’e a rebel, but anyway, the point is that not all the people there were extremest.

              He said some.

              • Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                All modern Nazis and Rebels are extremists. If you don’t understand this, you don’t know anything about America, either its history nor its current events.



            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

              You must know I am not a Nazi or that I am in bed with them.
              My problem is, as it has been for a long time now, is the readiness for my ‘side’ to cast everyone who isn’t as a Nazi or a reprehensible of some type.

              And , the continuing misrepresentation of, and abuse of Trump.

              I am a Hillary supporting democratically inclined non American.

              But honesty is important.

              • Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

                This is not “all my enemies are Nazi” hyperbole.

                This is an actual example of actual swastika-weaing “Heil Hitler”-ing Nazis marching with Confederate-Battle-Flag-Waving Rebels, chanting “Jews will not replace us,” and “blood and soil.”

                They are Nazis, proud of the fact, eager to tell everybody how wonderful Nazism is.

                And, until you understand that basic fact, you will continue to act as an unwitting propagandist for their cause.

                You indicate you’re not an American. Perhaps, as such, you can’t wrap your head around the possibility that anybody might actually march in public in full Nazi regalia sincerely chanting Nazi slogans. I understand that such is strictly forbidden in much of Europe, and simply doesn’t happen in the rest.

                Here, it does. They have a Constitutional right to do so. Whether or not they should is not the debate at hand — nor should it be, as there’s nothing more American than the inalienable right to make a disgusting asshole of yourself in public.

                Which is exactly what the people in Charlottesville were doing. Openly and proudly and unambiguously.

                Imagine you hear that there’s a rally to support something-or-other you happen to agree with, for whatever reason. You show up there and discover everybody else already there waving Nazi flags and shouting, “Heil Hitler!” Are you going to march side-by-side with them? Do you think that anybody who would deserves the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they’re not a Nazi?

                And if you heard somebody defending those few in plain clothes marching at the rally as “not Nazis”…would you not instantly assume that said person was himself a Nazi propagandist attempting to sneak Nazi propaganda into the discussion under guise of not being as extremist as it so obviously is?

                Because that’s exactly what you’re engaged in here. Again, whether or not you realize or understand it.

                Pro tip: do not parrot anything Drumpf says. Just don’t. Even if you sincerely think it’s reasonable, assume it’s Putin-style whataboutery and obfuscation and lies — because it nearly inevitably is. And, should, miracle of miracles, it actually be reasonable…reasonable people are not bolstering Drumpf right now by looking to further his agenda. Reasonable people are devoting their efforts to get that asshole as far away from the Nuclear Football as possible.



              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                I am not in Europe, as I am not a rebel or seditionist, I am an Australian.

                We have the freedom to march like that too.
                In my younger days, as part of a left wing union, with left wing leanings if would have participated in anti fascist demonstrations.

                If it is true that ‘all’ the people at that march were also the ones chanting those slogans and carrying Nazi or other white nationalist regalia, then, I am wrong on that point.

                If that is the case then there were no fine people there.

                I think that unlikely, but I will try and have a closer look.

                It is a reasonable point to make regarding the connection between Trumps actual beliefs and the stuff he says.

                Seeing as he lies relentlessly without regret or compunction.

                But, it is still not true to say that he didn’t condemn those far right extremest.

                If he said there were fine people there and he has condemned the Nazis and the white supremacists and the rest, then he is in error.

                You can’t make out he spoke in support of Nazis when he didn’t.

                Also, again, there is a clear difference between the Islamic terror incidents and this incident.

                This is my biggest problem. This is why I am going on about it. Nazis and white supremacists are a tiny problem compared to Islamic terror.
                The apologists for Islam are always pointing out the very few non Islamic terror incidents, like abortion doctor killings or Timothy McVeigh or Anders Brevik or Dillon Roof.

                Names we can all pretty much remember are being used to rationalize and minimize the enormous amount off Islamic terror and to obfuscate the real causes of it.

                And now, this is going to provide the apologists more ammunition. Undeserved and irrelevant ammunition.

                CNN were asking whether the Barcelona attack may have been a copycat attack.
                Need I state just how sickeningly absurd that notion is?

                I am going to say this again. There is no comparison between the Charlottesville incident and any Islamic suicide bombing or truck attacks or any murderous attack against civilians, or anyone.

                To say otherwise is both not true and is helping Islamic apologists.

                There is no problem with Trump being so ready to condemn Islamic terror attacks.

  4. TJR
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    We’re lucky that it took terrorists so long to realise that you don’t need guns or bombs when Giant Metal Death Machines are already available to anyone.

    The only solution I can see is for city and town centres to become even more pedestrianised than they already are.

    This is probably the only anti-terrorist measure that’s a good thing in itself, rather than an unpleasant necessity.

    • brdjns
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      One can imagine that they’d just resort to bomb vests instead.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Pedestrianisation makes a killers job easier – there’s no other parked vehicles for targets to put between themselves & him & no traffic jams.

      All these pedestrianised schemes have access for authorised vehicles [deliveries, maintenance & street cleaning] between certain off-peak hours – and it’s easy to remove one traffic bollard to allow peak hours access for ambulance, police & fire.

      The most effective, defensive street architecture schemes are mainly for keeping vehicles [mobile bombs] away from key buildings in most directions & then having a vehicle checkpoint at just one point of access. These types of schemes cost a fortune.

      We’ll have to get used to lots of armed cops in European city centres, invasive computerised vehicle license plate checks & facial recognition on all streets & I fully expect there will be a successful push in most countries for every citizen to be criminalised if they fail to carry ID at all times outdoors. A dictator’s wet dream outcome.

  5. Craw
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    First Heather Heyer? I recall some events in Paris, Nice and London.

  6. Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Setting the deranged KKK/neo-nazis types aside for now (already in the dustbin of history), there is too much pessimism about this problem. Islamist fundamentalism and extremism/terrorism (the latter first) will be defeated by the civilized countries and democratic forces in other countries. There is no doubt about this. Our parents’ generation defeated fascism, and that was much harder. The problem is hard, and the solution will be a long time coming, and very costly. But, it is not that difficult to see what the path forward will be.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree. And I’d emphasis – it will take quite some time.

    • Max Blancke
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      The first time we fought Islam in Europe, it took over 700 years.

      • Norbert Francis
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        It won’t be 700 years because we are not going to fight Islam. In fact, we have seen great progress in the struggle to defeat ISLAMIST EXTREMISM because we are not confusing the two. They are two different things. Evidence: the defeat of ISIS at Mosul and it’s impending defeat at Raqqa, at the hands mainly of Muslim soldiers.

        • Zach
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          In fact, we have seen great progress in the struggle to defeat ISLAMIST EXTREMISM because we are not confusing the two.

          I appreciate your optimism, but I personally have not noticed any “great progress” in the most consequential ideological tussle of our times. At least not in terms of ideology. Sure, ISIS is being rolled back militarily in northern Iraq with air strikes and mortars. But I see no weakening of the general ideas they espouse in the global meme-sphere. The Arab Spring has resulted in the spread of Islamism everywhere except at its origin point, in Tunisia, and is even now poisoning the Turks’ country, egged on by their cynical dictator.

          Meanwhile, on “our” end of things, those who try their best to avoid confusion between Islam and Islamist extremism, while criticizing the latter, are still roundly derided as Islamophobes and closet neoconservatives by most well-to-do people in the West. As I see it, an honest and widely public conversation about the antagonistic relationship between Islam (or at least certain elements within Islam) and liberal civilization in the 21st century is not immediately forthcoming. Indeed, it appears to still be a few dozen million more MENA immigrants to Europe, and a few dozen more terrorist attacks, in the making.

          It is a conversation that will eventually be had though, make no mistake. The only question is what kind of conversation it will be. Given current trends, my money is on it being a shouting match between resurgent right-wing neo-fascists on one hand, and a recalcitrant Muslim-leftist alliance on the other, with liberals either staying silent or taking sides haphazardly. Which is, by the way, exactly the state of affairs liberal critics of Islamism have been prophesying ever since they noticed our societies’ aversion to having such a conversation.

          So, by the time it gets public, it’s going to be ugly. The only silver lining I can see is the fact that the 21st century is not going to be ahistorical and boring in the way that Fukuyama predicted.

          • Norbert Francis
            Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            I agree. This discussion is going to take a long time before clarity begins to emerge, for some of the reasons you mention. The buffoon that the United States has as our current president will continue to make this discussion difficult to get on track.

          • a-non
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 3:31 am | Permalink

            Yes to this. I hear a lot of optimism like Norbert’s, but often from people who feel that choice of words can define reality. The evidence all seems to point the other way.

            … shouting match between resurgent right-wing neo-fascists on one hand, and a recalcitrant Muslim-leftist alliance on the other …

            I am somewhat surprised by the vehemence surrounding Charlottesville. I suppose it reflects how shallow our culture’s understanding of its history is — Nazis are such obvious baddies that they seem to slot neatly into the devil-shaped void in everyone’s heads, and leave no space for thinking about other evils. (Most obviously communism, there should be equal loathing for the red flag and the swastika, but both ideologies seem to have functioned in part as Ersatz religions, and we forget at our peril that the real thing still exists too.)

            And I say this here because it makes me pessimistic about this conversation we’re putting off. This Muslim-leftist alliance can and will paint all who disagree as Nazis. This tactic will be much more effective than it ought to be. And this pushes back my estimate for when this will happen, and thus upwards my estimate of how violent it will be.

            • Norbert Francis
              Posted August 18, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

              On dark days, like today, I fell pessimistic too. The confusion runs deep (e.g. what CNN proposed as a link between Charlottesville and Barcelona), and the discussion will be hard.

      • Norbert Francis
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        It won’t be 700 years because we are not going to fight Islam. In fact, we have seen great progress in the struggle to defeat ISLAMIST EXTREMISM because we are not confusing the two. They are two different things. Evidence: the defeat of ISIS at Mosul and it’s impending defeat at Raqqa, at the hands mainly of Muslim soldiers.

        • Posted August 18, 2017 at 2:07 am | Permalink

          Most Islamic nations are “extremist” in that they impose Islam on the nation and oppose free speech and the right to apostasy. I don’t agree that we’re doing well in opposing that. Indeed many Western nations seem to think it is reasonable to adopt Islamic blasphemy codes for themselves as a sop to Islam (though they call it “hate speech” not “blasphemy”).

          Yes, we might be doing ok in opposing ISIS, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg of Islamic extremism.

  7. rickflick
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    I hardly know what to say about this, but it’s a sad, sad day for sure. My hope is, as ISIS is rooted out of Iran and Syria the killing will dwindle. The criminals who run that organization will have to be captured, killed, or isolated to the point that they are no longer a serious threat, and no longer inspire mayhem.

  8. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    “First Heather Heyer”
    Respectfully, no, she was not the ‘first’, the the countless thousands of Islamic terror attacks were first.

    I see no reason to associate one isolated incident of one white nationalist with the orchestrated world wide terror attacks in the name of Islam.

    People have been complaining about Trumps false equivalency between left and right, rightly so.

    There is a touch of false equivalency here too. Imho.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I just read your qualifier about this week.

      • Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Would you like to retract your “respectful” attempt to emphasize the “false equivalency” in what I said, then? All you do is note my clarification, which of course explains that I’m feeling bad about the deaths this week.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 2:51 am | Permalink

          Ok, I retract it.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          Perhaps I was unfairly carrying this feeling I had from the way CNN were reporting it.

          CNN were making assertions that the Barcelona attack may have been a ‘copy cat’ of the Charlottesville incident.

          When that notion is absurd.

          Also, I read the qualifier as I was preparing to leave for a bit and only had time for a brief akcnowledgement.

      • Norbert Francis
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        I think Jerry agrees with the point Michael is making (if I may suggest). And for perfect clarity there is his qualifier. In any case, there is a more important point that Michael is making here. We are already seeing the attempt to conflate the two problems (neo-nazi terrorists and ISIS et al.) The attempt at confusion and confounding is plainly transparent, for a political end. These are two problems are completely different. One has nothing to do with the other. The first is about a completely marginalized group of misfits and psychopaths. We know exactly what to do about this problem. Jerry wrote at length about this in the posts about what happened in Virginia. The second is about a mass movement of millions of followers (many of which are active fighters) who support Sharia law, who seek to impose it, and defeat the democratic counties and democratic movements. They still hold quasi-state power in Iraq-Syria, with formidable military forces in dozens of counties, and clandestine forces in many more. ISIS in fact represents an direct national security to many countries in addition to Iraq and Syria (like Mali). Two completely different problems.

        • Craw
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Well said.

        • bundorgarden
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Yes, thank you.

  9. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 18, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Two. Two van attacks in or near Barcelona; the 2nd with 5 injured victims and 5 terrorists (rumored with bomb belts) shot to death.

    And the world is not falling apart. The war spike – which still has not reached the number of deaths in the Rwanda/Yugoslavia genocides – has dropped two years in a row as number of killed and one year as number of conflicts.

    The terrorist spike in Europe is, on the other hand, unfortunately still increasing:

    “In overall terms the level of activity in the EU attributed to jihadist terrorism remains high, with indications of it continuing to rise. 718 arrests related to jihadist terrorism were made in 2016, a number that has sharply increased in each of the last three years.” [ ] I assume this raise is induced specifically since the jihadists lost their Asian wars (outside of Afghanistan), and I do not think those do well in Africa either.

  10. Posted August 18, 2017 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    #HowReligionPoisonsEverything – the Christopher Hitchens subtitle I regularly employ now as a Twitter hashtag.

  11. Phil Rounds
    Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Blaming Heather Heyer for her own murder is despicable. Even if she was chasing the car with a stick, she was acting in defense of innocent people. Shame!

    There is no difference, ideologically, between nazis, white supremacists and radical Islam. The numbers may differ but the aim is similar; To subjugate people and murder people who disagree with them. You’d better believe that these American hate groups would be killing more people if they could get away with it. Free speech isn’t their aim…Their ultimate agenda is extermination and enslavement.

    63m people voted for Trump with the full knowledge that he was sympathetic to white supremacists….it was never a secret. If you didn’t know it you had to be living under a rock. Millions still support Trump even though they know he refuses to fully denounce racists. White nationalism is a cancer that is spreading over this country just as radical Islam is threatening the world. One is not less dangerous than the other…They are of equal threat and should be addressed that way.

  12. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Stabbings in Finland today.

  13. Posted August 18, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Horrible – and I have/had family there, to boot.

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