As we all know, a gang of fanatic-Islamic people killed many French people and did what they could to destroy their places of pleasure in Paris on Friday night. It is hard to find words to express how horrible the acts, aims, rhetoric of these particular gangs of fanatic-Islamic terrorists. These particular groups want to destroy secular tolerant societies,sweep away with derision those decent values that have emerged after centuries and centuries of human endeavour, erase history, enslave women, they kill people in the most painful brutal ways imaginable (who beheads someone with a knife while recording this?).
What these organization want is to drive a wedge between secular French people and Muslims living in France. It's important to remember that these groups do not represent all Muslims the way George Bush and Cheney do not represent all Americans. There has been tension, conflict, trouble in France: there is prejudice and discrimination against Muslims who are often poorer, don't get into the good schools, live in beautiful places, or the better jobs. That was the larger purpose of the Charlie Hebdo attack -- to make as many people in France as possible angry or fearful. That attack did have the effect of ratcheting up anti-semitism in France: since Israel behaves monstrously to the Palestinians (and is blame in the way the US and other gov'ts are, and their spies and brutal agencies too -- putting down Arabs, social democracies). If the past teaches us, this will be a hard thing to try to counter. Hollande is no Bush or Cheney or Netanyahu monster, but he must act to protect the people he is elected to take care of (one of his overall jobs). I feel for Angela Merkel's efforts to open her borders to refugees.
It was an attack on Paris itself -- and where evening fun goes on. I did think a moment of good thought to build upon was Obama's immediate reference to the long-time alliance of French people with Americans beginning in the later 18th century with the French supporting the American revolution and the Americans supporting the French (well enough people on both sides) and his reference to the good values underlying this time: liberty, egality, fraternity. While away I watched another episode of the mini-series, Shoulder to Shoulder (on my ipad) on the suffragettes; and that was Obama's phrase too: shoulder to shoulder.
As to defeating them, see Charles Pierce in Esquire today: the only way to defeat ISIS (stop funding bankers, hold accountable the military states which fund mass murder).
Well, my daughter, Izzy, on her blog. We Need more Fruit, has had the right response: celebrate and remember French achievements in the art. Izzy loves ice-skating, knows a lot about it, reports on it regularly on her blog. On Friday in Bordeaux, the second day of the Trophee Eric Bompard was cancelled -- it was felt to be dangerous. Izzy has written briefly about this and then as a tribute to French artistic achievement, produced a remarkable history of French Ice-skating using 13 YouTubes. The history is culled so precisely with just the right videos each time, you are also seeing a history of the way ice-skating is recorded, presented and yes danced too: She begins with slow (slowed down technically) graceful rendition on a snowy landscape in 1928 or 1932 (not sure which year), and takes you the beginnings of recordings of actual competition, then color comes in, then we feel the presence of the audience (note one using the music of West Side Story where the young man and woman represent Maria and Bernard in their dance and the audience begins to clap), the Sury Bonaly skating to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, more "character-driven" programs, ending on recent Olympic champions, powerful men doing singles (Brian Joubert), all the way up to 2012 and 2015.
I transfer just the first, but go and watch them and read the history interwoven: