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My 25 questions after the #ParisAttacks

Following the terrorist attacks on Paris, I have some questions. And I have a lot of them. I am not sure if anyone, or even myself for that matter, will ever be able to answer them. These questions are not directed at anymore in particular. Some questions could/should be answered by myself, others by those politically in charge or by (some kind of) God. Just do not feel offended, ok?


1. How could this happen?

2. How could this happen after security and surveillance measures in France were seriously tightened following the Charlie Hebdo shooting?

3. Why are we being constantly surveilled, online and offline, when it does not prevent such heinous events from happening?

4. Were the authorities aware of the fact that the terrorists were communicating over PlayStation 4 consoles?

5. Is this a (known) blind spot in the communications surveillance?

6. Do I have to sell my PlayStation 4 now?

7. Why do I strongly dislike people who are now quick to point out that data retention policies in France were unable to prevent this atrocity from happening (and should thus be abolished) when I do believe that data retention is fundamentally unlawful, breaches human rights and does not prevent these terrible events from happening?

8. But what do I tell someone that honestly believes that we should step up surveillance measures in Europe?

9. Do my (well-grounded) arguments against data retention and out-of-hand state-run online and offline surveillance programs really matter now?

10. When will they matter again?

11. Will they ever matter again?

12. Am I right to assume that cross-border police cooperation seems to work pretty well in Europe?

13. Isn’t it counterproductive to #prayforparis when religious extremism is behind Friday’s terrorist attacks?

14. Shouldn’t we rather be asked to #singforparis, #cryforparis or #bereallyangryforparis?

15. Are we officially at war now?

16. Who are “we”?

17. As someone that was born in Germany in 1984: What does it mean to “be at war”?

18. Isn’t an (official) declaration of war exactly what the terrorists want?

19. Who is waging war on who?

20. Isn’t everyone just a really big asshole that establishes links between the Paris attacks and the current refugee situation?

21. Will a majority of Europe’s public eventually fall for the tale that the current refugee situation makes terrorist attacks such as the ones in Paris more likely?

22. Why has Poland lately become such a nasty country?

23. Am I an asshole for refusing to change my Facebook profile picture to a French flag when instead I want to be given the additional option to change it to a Lebanese, Burmese or Colombian etc. flag?

24. Who at Facebook is in charge of making the choice what “event” gets its own profile picture filter?

25. Have Friday’s Paris attacks really “changed everything”?


Disclaimer: this blog post was inspired by Jan Böhmermann, arguably Germany’s best political satirist, who posted 100 questions on his Facebook page.

2 thoughts on “My 25 questions after the #ParisAttacks

  1. Here are the answers:
    1. A free state is always vulnerable. So the big question is: Do you want to have more freedom or more security? Well, you might want to have both. But that’s not possible. So for most Western countries freedom stands above security.
    2. Data retention and other security measures cannot prevent terror attacks. How much they help to prevent terror attacks… some say a lot, some say very little. Probably very little.
    3. Because some people might sleep better when they know that they are surveyed. Another reason: After terror attacks lots of people want the politicians to do something against terror. The problem is that you cannot really prevent terror attacks (see answer 1), so politicians are in a shitty situation. The consequence: They just do something.
    4. Probably not.
    5. Probably. But what’s the consequence of it? Hard to find out, which players are just playing war and which ones are planning war.
    6. Nope. You don’t have to sell it. You can just give it to me.
    7. You’ll have to sort that out by yourself.
    8. Tell him that he is short-sighted and that surveillance will not solve the problem.
    9. Not really.
    10. After several studies figured out that data retention cannot prevent terror attacks.
    11. See 10.
    12. What makes you assume that it works well?
    13. Probaby not counterproductive, but not very smart, yes. Just regard it as a kind of showing sympathies to the victims.
    14. The way you offer your sympathy to the victims does not really matter.
    15. Nope.
    16. You mean “who are we”, right? Answer: The Western world.
    17. To kill and to be killed.
    18. I don’t think so.
    19. Basically every country that is (militarily) fighting against Islamic terrorism.
    20. You should link it correctly. So yes, one terrorist probably came to Europe as a camouflaged refugee. But that was one out of a million (or whatever the correct number is).
    21. Yes.
    22. Poland is not the only European country that is led by a right or very conservative party.
    23. Nope, see 14.
    24. The Facebook marketing strategy team.
    25. Nope. Nothing can change everything.

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