Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kit's Weekend Thoughts: Paris

This afternoon I went for a brief walk at a local park. When I came back to my apartment I checked Facebook and saw a message from my Mom asking if I knew about Paris. I replied "No" and went to google. At the top of the search was a headline mentioning several attacks in Paris and 35 dead with several held hostage at the Bataclan theater.

now, CNN has the death toll at 153, with over 100 of those occurring inside the theater, and, with over 50 seriously injured, that number is likely to go up. France has since been placed under a state of emergency and Paris has a mandatory curfew for the first time since 1944. We have some reports that a few of the gunmen at large while others say all were killed.

There is so much we as of yet do not know. While there is much in the news that ISIS was responsible, I must remind you that it is at times like this, in the midst of a chaotic event, that rumors fly. We have heard from some that it was carried out by ISIS, I have seen at least 3 different death tolls (120, 153, 158). We don't know if they were refugees or if they came from the cit├ęs around Paris. It will be at least 24 hours before we know much of the details of who was behind it, who the men were that carried it out, and the ultimate death toll.

What is clear is that this was not an attack by a deranged quack or a lonely duo of losers; this was well-planned and well-orchestrated terrorist attack. This was not Fort Hood, this was not Boston, this was Mumbai.

Some have said ISIS, if they were truly behind this, wants us to strike back. They want us to strike back. Well, in response to that sentiment I quote William T. Sherman:

"War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. Yon know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want; not a word of argument, not a sign of let up, no cave in till we are whipped or they are."

I will post updates as the story develops.

Update (9:58am): ISIS has claimed responsibility. LINK

Update (1037am): Death toll has been lowered to 127.

Update (2:49pm): Death toll now at 129, including 1 American. 352 injured, over 90 "critically". Arrests in Brussels.

Update (5:24pm): A good article on the topic and what France can do going forward, as well as the problems they face: LINK

Update (12: pm): Evening mass at Notre Dame (may be winding down), LINK* while French law enforcement hunt for a person involved.

*Yeah, it's a Russia Today affiliate, but it was the only one I could find. Sorry.


EPorvaznik said...

Great Sherman quote, Kit. Sadly, we have a JV coach, likely leading from behind whilst wearing Kobe's old #8 jersey, as our Commander in Chief, so we should expect little more than "Uh-huh" instead of a whole lotta "Oh, yeah!!!"

Kit said...


I sadly agree.
They are no less a JV team now than the Taliban were in 2001.

Anthony said...

What gets me is some of the actors were reportedly known to police and the attacks have triggered a wave of arrests of people in their social circles. The time of tolerating Islamists who are known to be advocate/plot mayhem should have passed a long time ago. The US catches flack for scooping up random idiots who 'merely' go online looking to join a terror group, but enough of those idiots together can pull off atrocities like this and post 911 nothing approaching the scale of this attack has happened here.

The fact Al Queda hasn't pulled off anything of this magnitude for a while indicates that terror groups can have their operational capabilities severely degraded. The downside is that this raises the possibility that like the war on drugs, there will always be another force looking to step into the breach, so victories against individual groups don't necessarily translate into fewer terror attacks.

While most Muslims aren't terrorists, fewer Muslims make for fewer terror attacks so I expect fewer countries will take in fewer migrants and more will deport some of those they have.

Anthony said...

Sounds like French law enforcement authorities need more men and perhaps more leeway to deal with suspects.

ISIS' declaration of an Islamic Caliphate has inspired a generation of French Islamist extremists and they have been enraged by French strikes against the group in Syria and Iraq.

The extent of radicalization has overwhelmed French security services.

Surveillance files have been opened on more than 5,000 suspected Islamic extremists in France, but security services only have the manpower and resources to monitor a small fraction of these numbers 24/7. Around 1,000 have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight jihad or are in transit there, and those are just the ones French authorities know about.

The numbers are staggering.

More than 500 French nationals are fighting with jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq, 137 have been killed, 250 have returned, 300 are in transit and 700 extremists in France are seeking to travel, according to official French figures from last month.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, In this day and age, they do need more people and more informants and all of that. They also need to start getting Muslims to work with them to roust these people out of their community.

I think the ones going to Syria is actually a good thing, if handled right. You can either kill them in the field or you identify them and arrest them for treason upon return and execute the ones who fired on French troops and expel the rest to some craphole island prison.

The real danger is the ones who don't go, but instead stay home to plan more crap like this.

I will be interested to see how the French handle this to see if they are serious or if they will just role over.

BevfromNYC said...

And where is the UN in all,of this?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Not to be flippant, but my guess is that the UN is busy whipping up a condemnation of Israel as we speak.

Kit said...

The UN? Who cares?

Really. Notice how everyone is talking about how NATO will react instead of the UN?

tryanmax said...

It heartens me to hear French President Hollande call this an act of war. (As an aside, the French word for war, guerre, is an awesome word.)

I'm surprised no one here has jumped on the irony that on Friday, Obama told George Snuffleupagus that ISIS is contained.

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