Sunday, April 21, 2019

Yes, the Notre Dame Fire Was a Tragedy; But Does It Really Warrant Comparison with 9-11 in America?

At a time when an unimaginable fire has left one of humanity's most famous and most beautiful buildings partly in ruins, everybody around the world would like to join together in unity with the French, while nobody really is yearning for the opportunity to descend into controversy.

That is why on the day that the Notre Dame cathedral caught fire, I wrote that now is not the time to go into (old) polemics, but at the same time, I couldn't refrain from calling out the wife of the elderly French couple interviewed that very night on TF1 (no, t'wasn't Ilhan Omar) who said that when the church's spire collapsed, it reminded her of New York in 2001 when the Twin Towers caved in. (Merci for the link, Instapundit.)

This idea is getting traction — probably because it is so simplistic — and you can perhaps get an idea of the degree to which the French and the Europeans hold dear the lives of Americans and capitalists (or lives in general — like all leftists?) when one Frenchman after the other compares the destruction of the roof of a cathedral — granted, one of the two or three most famous on the planet, as well as a symbol of Paris and France — with the attacks on September 11 2001.

Why not with Pearl Harbor, while you're at it?

Teeny-tiny reminder: in the space of less than two hours (far less than the church's roof was in flames), the 9-11 attacks on New York and DC led to the deaths of 3,000 people.

Here are just two examples, both from a single French weekly: The Notre Dame disaster, "It's a bit our September 11" (« C’est un peu notre 11 Septembre »), Le Point's

As the weekly's noted that the Gothic cathedral is a miraculous survivor of history (« miraculée » de l'histoire) and that it has become a symbol for the French, given a slightly different wording by another medievalist, Joëlle Alazard: "It's a kind of heritage 911" (« C'est une sorte de 11 Septembre patrimonial »).

It looks like deep down, people know that they cannot deny the lack of proportion between the events, so they have the (weaselly?) presence of mind (la présence d'esprit) to resort to "kinda/sorta" wordings…

Actually, it turns out that — in response to this post's heading — no, the Notre Dame fire may not have been a tragedy (at least not one as devastating as previously feared). Indeed, during a concert only five days after the apocalyptic images of destruction on our screens, there is an entirely new and unforeseen development: according to the French government, "the rescue of Notre Dame is almost complete" (« Notre-Dame est quasi sauvée »)! As the culture minister (Franck Riester) himself says, this is "tremendous good news" (« c'est une formidable nouvelle ») — no disagreements there — although it does tend to make the 9-11 comparisons even more frivolous, shallow, and jarring.

Rémi Brague : La même chose que tout le monde, j’imagine, une réaction très banale : surprise, stupeur, inquiétude, chagrin. Puis admiration pour le courage des pompiers. C’est un peu notre 11 Septembre.
Related: Le Monde's front-page cartoon comparing France's 2002 election to 9-11, after Jean-Marie Le Pen managed to become one of the finalists in the first round (with the twin towers representing the ballot's two rounds while the Front National leader is depicted as a destructive airplane aiming for both)

In the previous post's comments, Terrekain says that he
just talked to [his] local Fire Marshal.

Whoever said that going for an air drop on the Notre Dame cathedral would cause it to collapse, is an IDIOT.

If it's a firefighter, he should be fired immediately.

Aerial water drops typically disperse in the atmosphere; they do not apply that much more weight on the structure than a heavy rainfall and a BURNING cathedral is in much more danger of collapsing than one that is covered and mist-doused in a fire-retardant slurry. Even if it were true that the building would collapse, the only reason to worry about that is if anybody was in the building...but artifacts and architecture are endangered by the FIRE, far more than any collapse unless we're talking about WTC collpases - we're not.

The building's structural integrity is being degraded by the fire, not any amount of water. So you just let the building keep burning?

Whoever claimed that idiocy is either ignorant, or is gas-lighting the public to make Trump look's idiocy. What were these idiots waiting for? For the entire structure to burn down?
Blogger Terrekain goes on to add that
This is like waiting for the WTC to "burn out" when you are given an opportunity to put out the fire (there was no such opportunity then, but hypothetically speaking)...

Trump: "Put it out with water".

Macron: "Oh, if we put water on it, it might collapse...."

Trump: "What are you talking about? If it's going to collapse because of an air-drop, it'll collapse ANYWAY in the time it takes you to call in the air-drop due to the fire. So why not try it and give yourself a chance?"

Macron: "Ummm....RACIST!"


sykes.1 said...

Actually, the fire at Notre Dame might be worse than either 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. France is a dying nation with a dying culture, and the fire is symbolic of those deaths. America was and is strong enough and self-confident enough to recover from its disasters, but French people have so little self-respect and so little hope for the future that they cannot even bear to have children.

Of course, the despair that leads Frenchmen to refuse to have children infects all of Western Europe. If Europe is not saved by Russia and the Slavs, it will become Muslim and African, and Western Culture will disappear from its birthplace.

methere said...

"Does it really warrant comparison with 9-11"

No. Comparing an accident to deliberate destruction is grotesque. It is like comparing a heart attack with cold-blooded murder. One is unfortunate, the other is EVIL. Those are OPPOSITES, not EQUALS. Treating them the same IS evil.

Eskyman said...

It may be that both atrocities had the same cause, i.e. islamists. We don't know, no definitive cause has been announced, and it would be understandable for authorities to downplay any such thought; but.

I'm far from being the only one who suspects the "religion of peace," who've been responsible for countless fires, bombings and desecration of Christian and Jewish sacred places, and who are probably behind the terrible church bombings in Shi Lanka as well.

They are a scourge, and that evil ideology has no place in civilization.

Banshee said...

As an American, I don't take it as an insult, at least on its face. It did create a similar sickening feeling that the world was reeling, and that things would never be the same. The specifics of the loss were quite different, but the gutpunch?

I remember on 9/11 that I kept feeling worried in a particular way that I could not understand, until I dug out the memory of the feeling I was getting. I was remembering when I was a tiny child, and there was a tornado in the next town. And that was the greatest disaster prototype for me, even though I was an adult and had seen worse now.

So in my head, I kept expecting the terribly clear blue September skies to turn into tornado green and yellow clouds. And I am sure that, in the same way, a lot of young French people were expecting the smell of jet fuel the other day, or maybe the blood of Bataclan. Because that was their archetype of disaster.

This sort of thing is not always a matter of logic. And it is better to identify your fear and be able to sleep, than to wonder why you want to hide in the basement and wait for the tornado.

Long time lurker, first time commenter. Happy Easter and keep fighting the good fight.

LBD said...

It is extraordinary how swiftly any speculation as to involvement of the religion of peace was forbidden to be mentioned. In my opinion, the comparison to 911 is an oblique way that people can refer to what is quite obvious to any thinking person. Accordingly, it does not offend me as an American. said...

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