When some calamity like this happens, I generally don't remark on it here or on Facebook. Unless I personally know someone affected, it seems like an empty gesture. Does anyone reading this care one way or the other if I express my sympathy for the victims? I doubt it. But of course I have been reading about it and thinking about it. This piece by Richard Fernandez seems especially interesting to me. Is it an accurate description of the situation? Maybe.
A lot of people are expressing surprise at the attacks. I'm only surprised that there haven't been more such over the past fifteen years or so. Either Western governments have been pretty adept at stopping them, or the jihadists have not really been trying.