Saturday, 14 November 2015

Libération editor Laurent Joffrin’s op-ed

The barbarity of terrorism has just taken a historical step. A massacre coordinated in the heart of Paris and the Stade de France was conducted with cold determination, in order to kill as many as possible.
Even at the height of the clashes linked to the Algerian civil war in the 1990s, France had never experienced this level of violence. And it is France, its policies and its international role which are targeted by the killers. Unlike the attacks on Charlie Hebdo or the Hyper Cacher, which were precise in their execution, tonight’s attacks are acts of indistinct cruelty unleashed to inspire terror across the nation.
The sites of the attacks were all dedicated to entertainment and friendliness, were purposely in the line of fire, as a way to underline the fact that French people are now under menace in their everyday life, as they simply go out with friends.
We are horrified in front of the vastness of this massacre, and compassion for the victims is the most humane and immediate reaction to have. We first and foremost think of the victims and their families. As for the rest - it has to focus on cold blood and civism. French society should arm itself with the courage to not give an inch to the killers, and has to show vigilance and the undying will to face the horror with the force of the law and solidarity.
The Republic, its mobilised state and the law will take on the battle without trembling, with great efficiency. It is impossible to not link those bloody attacks to those taking place in the Middle East, where France plays its part. Our country must continue its action unblinkingly. Only our country’s unity, as with stand strong and voluntary and carried by our values, will allow France to take its greatest challenge.

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