Saturday, November 14, 2015
Paris: The Day After the Attacks
So, the facts are beginning to be clarified now, a day after the unbelievable events in Paris last night.
The main killing took place at Le Bataclan in the evening, where a rock band, The Eagles of Death Metal, were playing. Terrorists came in and began shooting randomly into the crowd, in what has been described as a blood bath. When police arrived, the terrorists started throwing explosives. I did some research on The Eagles of Death Metal, and just found out that I actually do know a bit about the band, or at least one of the members, Josh Homme. He played in the Queens of the Stone Age, a band that I liked and even saw in concert back in 2002.
There were also bombings near the Stade de France while Germany and France were playing a highly publicized and much anticipated friendly in football. There were two suicide bombers involved there, as I understand it.
Finally, there were other attacks at places where a lot of people, particularly young people, would tend to congregate on a Friday night such as last night. It was unseasonably warm, so there were a lot of people out in the evening.
In all, the latest death count that I heard stands at 129, with most of those (80 by most estimates) having taken place at the concert at Le Bataclan.
France declared a state of emergency for the first time since 1944, and the city of Paris had a curfew for the first time since 1945. President Hollande blamed ISIL, and declared these attacks "an act of war." He said that France would rise to the occasion. For now, he stated that the country would officially be in mourning for the next three days.
Obviously, the attacks received a lot of attention and comments in the aftermath. The one that stood out the most for me was Pope Francis, who referred to the attacks as "piecemeal World War III, which he suggested was far more disorganized than the prior world wars.
And you know what? He may just be right. He said that the violence was confusing, and it was hard to make sense out of it, although he adamantly stated that "there is no religious or human justification" for the kind of violence witnessed in Paris yesterday.
I agree, these events are confusing, and there can be no justification whatsoever for this kind of violence. Yet, the Islamic State claimed responsibility, suggesting that the attacks were launched because France had made fun of the Prophet Muhammad (Charlie Hebdo), and also because of it's involvement in airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. One of the men involved yesterday had a Syrian passport that was found near his body. Many sympathizers of the Islamic States essentially applauded the hashtag Paris in Flames. This, to me, seems like evil incarnate, a cowardly attack launched by angry, humorless men, and aimed against everybody who does not believe exactly what they believe, regardless of race, sex, religion, or any other mitigating factor.
These kinds of extremists need to be stopped, period. We cannot live in a world where men such as this are able to carry out such cowardly attacks.
Again, I repeat my sentiments from yesterday, because I have not much to say about this. No words to help clarify or lend some new perspective. I think about the Paris that I have spent much time in, and visited at different points in my life. I think about the French people, being a citizen of France myself. It saddens me to tears to think about what is happening there, and when this will all end, and how. Once again, my thoughts and heart and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones, as well as all of the people of France as a whole.
Pope Francis calls Paris attacks piece of a ‘piecemeal World War III’ by Kellan Howell - The Washington Times - Saturday, November 14, 2015: