The New Yorker‘s reigning liberal, George Packer, on the Charlie Hebdo attacks (emphasis added):
The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists.
They are only the latest blows delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades.
Packer on “why” ISIS killed Kenji Goto:
The Islamic State doesn’t leave thousands of corpses in its wake as a means to an end. Slaughter is its goal—slaughter in the name of higher purification. Mass executions are proof of the Islamic State’s profound commitment to its vision.
Also, don’t even try to sort ISIS out…
We want to understand the Islamic State’s thinking, to anticipate its next moves, to assess its relative strength. But ISIS keeps on defying ordinary questions. The Islamic State doesn’t behave according to recognizable cost-benefit analyses.
Oh wait, by the way, why did Jared Lee Loughner shoot up Gaby Gifford’s office in 2011?
The massacre in Tucson is, in a sense, irrelevant to the important point. Whatever drove Jared Lee Loughner, America’s political frequencies are full of violent static.
Must be nice to be The New Yorker’s Chief Correspondent of: “Whatever, bro. Violence.”