The Veil of Maya
Anyone following the news can't but have noticed a substantial difference in reaction, from press, muslim organisations and diplomats alike to the french journos taken hostage by the really truly absolutely fringe element that is decapitational Islam.
This then begs the question: What is different? Why suddenly this outcry, where previously the tenor used to be "sad, but it was to be expected"?
The idea that somehow the French, by grace of having supported the regime of Saddam Hussein, acquired a magical aura of immunity for its nationals is so mind-boggingly stupid that it doesn't pass the giggle test. Indeed, french nationals have been killed as early as January this year.
Then the independent variable must be that the actual demand of the would-be decapitators is, relatively speaking, too far-out even for contemporary terrorism standards. It's one thing to demand withdrawal of troops from, or the cessation of any economic activity whatsoever with Iraq, it seems. But now, it would appear, the terrorists have gone too far and violated some unwritten causal connection rule that ought to govern terrorist demands.
But you must be stark raving mad or a journalist to begin with to think that terrorists have any use whatsoever for rules. Terrorism is what you can get away with.
When the French raise their hands to heaven and question the Gods why this ordeal is befalling them who have been always true and upright, it is not Job but the pharisees who come to mind. The terrorism was there all along, they just preferred not to see it so they called it "legitimate resistance".
Even now, the press, diplomats and muslim organisations refuse to acknowledge the presence of the elephant in the living room, and talk about mistakes. The hostagetakers have taken the wrong hostages. They are making the wrong demands. Clearly they will see this when we point this out to them and they will beat their chests, sigh, acknowledge the error of their ways and duly chastised resume the less-controversial killing of Jews and American Auxiliaries.
Or we could hunt them down and kill them all. Sometimes, simplicity has its advantages.