Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

 

This is apparently the new slogan of resistance in Paris. A collective of graffiti artists painted it on La République — one of my old neighborhoods; I don’t live there anymore. (And yes, I’ll for once call them artists; this was artistic. Usually I’m in favor of arresting them promptly on broken-windows policing principles, but there are exceptions.)

4810298_6_8cbd_il-est-battu-par-les-flots-mais-ne-sombre-pas_b6cc0be8e1fe38b8917c9a5a5bccef72

The cartoonist Joann Sfar published this version on Instagram:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.57.18

This phrase is the motto of Paris. It means, roughly, “tossed by the waves, but not sunk.” You can see it in the city’s coat of arms. It derives from theCoat of Arms 5 Seine boatsman’s corporation, the Marchands de l’eau. They were a Middle Ages hanse, an organization of merchants (as in the Hanseatic League), organized in 1170 to control all trade conducted on the Seine River. Its jurisdiction was — in principle — limited to commerce, but you know how these things go; they became powerful enough to organize a whole city government outside the reach of the French crown. An uprising in 1383 forced them to disband, and they never regrouped. But Paris has been well and truly fluctuat since then, nec mergitur. 

I like the slogan for a few reasons, but among them is the message: We’ve been around since the Romans. You’ve been a caliphate since June 29, 2014, we believe? 

It’s not all bravado around here, mind you. My friend Arun wrote a blog post that might interest you. I keep inviting him to join Ricochet, but he keeps insisting he doesn’t want to, because he’s a leftist. I’ve yet to be able to figure out how this genuinely matters to the cases in which we disagree. (We often do.) We agree about many things, too. I agree with most of what he wrote here:

In lieu of a lengthy analysis—which would be premature at this early point—a few comments. First, where the attacks took place. The 10th and 11th arrondissements were not chosen at random. This part of Paris—and the eastern part of the city more generally—was historically populaire (working class) but has been transformed over the past two decades. It’s become a hip area, with an active nightlife and cool bars and restaurants frequented mainly by young people (20s/early 30s): hipsters, students, and young professionals, and of all ethnic origins. The evening ambiance in that part of the city is great. And it’s more lively that what I’ve seen in London. The Islamic State terrorists targeted that area precisely because of what it is and symbolizes. …

I’m not sure of this. Doesn’t seem likely to me that the Islamic State has it out for hipsters, per se. We understand the part about targeting Jews and cartoonists perfectly; we certainly understand going after major economic targets like air travel; we understand the Year Zero fanaticism of destroying millennium’s worth of cultural heritage — yeah, got your point there, savages — and we maybe understand the Bataclan, knowing of your hatred of music and dancing and joy, but Le Petit Cambodge? Who knew you had a bug up your collective jihadi asses about family-run Cambodian restaurants? During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will eat Lok Lak out of little cubes of perfumed, marinated beef in soy sauce accompanied by lemon juice and salt, along with a bowl of rice, so, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection, verily, the mercy of God is nigh unto those who do well? Nope, that one’s not in the Quran or the hadiths. I looked. So I can’t figure out your thinking there, frankly. Except that you’re clearly savages.

Second, though only one of the eight dead terrorists has been formally identified as I write, there can be no doubt that the operation was conceived and led by Frenchmen—by persons who grew up in the Paris area, have an intimate knowledge of the city, and are no doubt French citizens from birth.

My instinct says so, too. You have to have a particularly local sensibility to shoot up La Belle Équippe. Tourists would have gone for the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. As I write, we now know that at least two of them were French. Brothers, in fact.

Non-French jihadists could have never hatched this plot. One may also safely assume that the terrorists were radicalized not in mosques or by jihadist imams but via the Internet …

Could be both. They weren’t radicalized by the imams who were singing the Marseillaise outside the Bataclan today. For those of you who want to hear local Muslims eager to string up terrorists from lampposts, here they are:

and that most, if not all of them, have been in Syria or some other MENA war zone.

Sounds highly plausible.

The sale and private possession of assault weapons are, as one knows, illegal in France, though they can be had via traffickers (mainly from the Balkans). But to learn to use them in the way the terrorists did last night involves training and practice that would be difficult to do in France without being detected, but that they would obviously get in Syria.

Sounds highly plausible to me.

So France and other European states, in protecting themselves from the Islamic State death cult, absolutely need to shut down, to the extent possible, the route to Syria via Turkey, by, entre autres, formally telling the Turks to stop admitting EU nationals with national ID cards only (and not passports), to issue visas at their borders, and to agree—in return for the substantial aid Turkey will be receiving from the EU to deal with the refugees there—to a discreet European police presence working with their Turkish counterparts on the Syrian border. This won’t entirely solve the problem but it will help a great deal.

Yes. It won’t entirely solve the problem, no — the problem being that we seem to have quite a large cohort of French citizens who are readily radicalized on the Internet, think it a good idea to fly to Syria to get the world’s best terrorism training and practice, then come home to use it on the local home-cooked Cambodian eatery — but every little bit helps, I guess.

Third—and something I was thinking last night—is the huge failure this represents on the part of the French intelligence services.

Ya think, Arun? You and the rest of Paris. We’re all wondering what they’ve been doing with themselves lately besides standing on the streets looking like they’re about to go on a safari.

For such a complex, coordinated sequence of terrorist attacks—and involving at least eight, and certainly more, persons—to happen in the heart of Paris, less than a year after Charlie Hebdo-Hyper Cacher and without the police or intelligence apparatus getting wind of it, is a debacle for the French state. And particularly in view of the reinforced Vigipirate deployment since the attacks in January, with ever more soldiers in jungle fatigues with their machine guns—that may or may not be loaded (which would be incredibly stupid either way)—on the streets and transportation hubs. Vigipirate, like the TSA in the US, is useless security theater almost exclusively designed to reassure the public. And it’s a huge waste of money and of the soldiers’ time and training; and, as we have seen, it can’t thwart a mega terrorist attack.

I couldn’t agree more.

But Vigipirate will, of course, only be reinforced. No president of the republic or prime minister will dare rethink it, let alone scrap.

Fourth, the reaction of the public to this attack is likely to be different from the ones in January. In the latter, there was a big rally the evening of the 7th at the Place de la République and with the banner reading “Not Afraid.” People are now afraid. And then there was the “Je suis Charlie” and that was countered by the “Je ne suis pas Charlie,” by those who did not like Charlie Hebdo or identify with the January 11th marches—and this included a sizable portion of France’s 4+ million-strong Muslim population. There is no such cleavage now. Viewing the comments threads of two virulent, high-profile “Je ne suis pas Charlie”-type Facebook pages I follow, Oumma.com and the Parti des Indigènes de la République, since last night has revealed a markedly different tone from what one normally gets from the fans—French Muslims and/or Maghrebis in their near totality—of those two pages—conspiracy theories, vitriol, and hate: toward France, America, and, bien évidemment, “Zionists”—and particularly after the attacks last January. Even the more alienated, resentful members of that population are genuinely horrified by what happened last night and know that they are eventual targets of terrorism along with everyone else. On this, a friend posted on social media this tract from the Islamic State, telling Muslims in the West that, in effect, they must either adhere to the IS and its conception of Islam or “apostatize” and adopt the “kufri” (infidel) religion of the West. In other words, Muslims in France must get off the fence and choose their camp. It goes without saying that, if presented with that choice, the huge majority will side with the “kuffars.” As they say, it’s a no brainer. …

I suspect you’re right.

The fear level in France is going to increase, no doubt about it, as will the repressive capacity of the state (which results axiomatically when a country is “at war” (en guerre), as President Hollande and everyone else is now saying France is. …

Yes, I expect it will.

Other observations: Sirens outside, helicopters overhead. Intermittently. I wish my brother would go back to Bamako, where it’s safe.

Everyone I saw today was red-eyed. But again, I spent most of the day in the cardiac wing of a hospital, where people have other reasons to be red-eyed. It was eerie to walk down the hall. Everyone was watching the same television station from their hospital beds. You heard the same broadcast from each room, and the same words about the mounting death toll, accompanied by the same beep-beep-beep from everyone’s cardiac monitors. Otherwise, silence.

Had I been feeling more in the mood to be a journalist, I’d have recorded the sound. But I wasn’t.

There are 62 comments.

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  1. Z in MT Inactive

    I hope that French fear gives way to French resolve.

    • #1
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:06 AM PDT
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  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Claire – thank you for the continued reporting. It is very informative and helpful to get this perspective.

    A question for you. I’ve read one piece speculating that the Bataclan was targeted because it has Jewish ownership, the theater has hosted a number of Israel related events, been the subject of BDS and other anti-Israel protests and the band that was playing that night had recently toured Israel. Have you read or heard anything along those lines?

    • #2
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:12 AM PDT
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  3. Aaron Miller Member

    Third—and something I was thinking last night—is the huge failure this represents on the part of the French intelligence services.

    Judging from officials’ willingness to put due process rights on indefinite hold in the immediate aftermath, it seems to this American that the French will soon have their own version of the Patriot Act. Freedom and legal protections will give way to want of security. Intel and enforcement officials will be given blank checks.

    • #3
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:13 AM PDT
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  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Mark: A question for you. I’ve read one piece speculating that the Bataclan was targeted because it has Jewish ownership, the theater has hosted a number of Israel related events, been the subject of BDS and other anti-Israel protests and the band that was playing that night had recently toured Israel. Have you read or heard anything along those lines?

    There’s been a ton of speculation about all of that. It’s possible.

    ISIS’s statement doesn’t mention this. They describe the victims as “idolators together for a party of perversity.” Bataclan’s definitely a place where men and women dance together — probably that’s as repulsive as being Jewish, from their point of view.

    Their statement:

    Eight brothers carrying explosive belts and guns targeted areas in the heart of the French capital that were specifically chosen in advance: the Stade de France during a match against Germany which that imbecile François Hollande was attending; the Bataclan where hundreds of idolaters were together in a party of perversity as well as other targets in the 10th, 11th and 18th arrondissement.

    • #4
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:18 AM PDT
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  5. MarciN Member

    I don’t think it is humanly possible for intelligence to detect all of these threats.

    I think the only answer is for each adult to carry a gun and be prepared to use it.

    If we don’t do something, we’ll end up in war. Our criminal justice system works only to prosecute crimes that have already happened.

    The only way I see to prevent the terrorists from carrying out their evil designs is for them to know that everyone around them is armed.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t fear death, but they don’t like to have their plans interrupted, and if enough of them end up with holes in their kneecaps and a nice long lifetime in a wheelchair, the idea of terrorism may have less appeal. If we prevent them from hastening their suicide wish, if they stop seeing terrorism as a quick way to their heaven but rather as a long life of pain in a soon-to-be narcotic-free world, then they may stop doing these things.

    • #5
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:21 AM PDT
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  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Aaron Miller: Judging from officials’ willingness to put due process rights on indefinite hold in the immediate aftermath, it seems to this American that the French will soon have their own version of the Patriot Act. Freedom and legal protections will give way to want of security. Intel and enforcement officials will be given blank checks.

    This is considerably more Draconian than the Patriot act, which never gave the state the right to conduct searches without warrant or to shut down the media. I’d be more happy with giving them blank checks if I had more faith in their competence; every single time this happens, it turns out the terrorists were ‘S fiche,” meaning ‘known to be radicalized.” So why exactly were they not only known to be radicalized, but flying to Syria and back?

    • #6
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:30 AM PDT
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  7. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    MarciN: The only way I see to prevent the terrorists from carrying out their evil designs is for them to know that everyone around them is armed.

    It’s a nice fantasy, but they’ve carried out plenty of evil acts in places where everyone’s armed to the eyeteeth. If it makes you feel more in control, I’d say sure — get armed, get trained. You could get lucky.

    • #7
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:35 AM PDT
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  8. James Gawron Thatcher

    Claire,

    Most interesting. Dr. Pipes thinks that the attack will have limited impact. I think I disagree. As the gentleman mentioned in the report, the response is much more uniformly negative. The government much angrier. I took the law you quoted to mean martial law for 14 days and then parliament gets to review.

    I think this could be much more the European 911. Your thoughts.

    Also, how is your dad? Those Mathematicians are a hardy breed but that was some pretty rough treatment.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:37 AM PDT
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  9. Pencilvania Inactive

    “Tossed but not sunk” – good, I am glad for that. And glad you and your family are safe, Claire.

    Might be wise for France to toss some jetsam overboard though.

    • #9
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:37 AM PDT
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  10. TeamAmerica Member

    Claire, How do you think this will effect the fate of the EU? Will people like Farage and the UKIP likely gain ground, and do you think Marie LePen’s party will win the next election?

    Also, is Ms. LePen and her party more centrist and non-anti-semitic and non-fascist, unlike her father?

    • #10
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:48 AM PDT
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  11. Eric Hines Inactive

    A couple of disparate thoughts, in no particular order. One, like you I don’t think these Islamic terrorists (I’ll have thought on this designation below) were targeting the youthful, per se. I do think the targets were carefully selected, though, whether by those French “citizen” brothers or by those who ordered the atrocity, using the brothers for their local knowledge. Those areas were targeted, rather than the tourist spots, because that’s where the French people hung out in those Islam-effronting French hangouts. I don’t know Paris well enough to know if that’s where French Jews congregate preferentially, too, or whether they were just icing on the cake. But the target was not tourists, which would have been embarrassing to France, but French citizens: this was a blow against the fabric of French society, not against French economics.

    Second, regarding French (and allied) intelligence. Stipulate arguendo that French intelligence performed absolutely perfectly. It’s more likely that we’d like to admit that, operating in an environment of badly imperfect information, things like this will happen, anyway–both from missing information and from misinterpreting the information available, rife with gaps as it must be. (Regarding this last, mindsets and preconceptions play hob with interpretation: behaviors have to be conceivable before they can be interpreted.) Of course, it’s possible, too, that French intelligence royally screwed the pooch. That’s what post morems are for, though, and I don’t know enough to hazard an opinion.

    Third, regarding Islamic terrorists. In the context of the just concluded Dem debate and the contestants’ handling of a question concerning “Radical Islamists,” I just listened to a Democrat interviewee on Fox News argue strenuously that the term implicates all Islamists; this, also, was the argument made by Clinton as she first tried, Alinsky-esque, to redefine the term as “Islam,” and then made her position blatant.

    No. “Radical Islamists” does not implicate all Islamists, nor can it: the adjective explicitly limits the group to those indicated by that adjective. It’s what modifiers do regarding their nouns. I can’t speak for Clinton, but it’s clear to me that English grammar was not a safe space for the Fox News interviewee.

    Eric Hines

    • #11
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:50 AM PDT
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  12. EJHill Podcaster

    Every time something like this happens we get the “homegrown” angle. This is part of the liberal catechism. To show your faithfulness to the socialist credo of internationalism you must wave the flag of xenophobia to stop rational people from doing rational things by painting them as being irrational.

    “How can you let this prevent us from importing 10,000 Muslims if I show you that two of them were born here?” Horsepucky.

    Domestically, the Obama administration has been playing this game for quite a awhile. Here, the “terrorists” are all domestic and right wing. The radicalized youth in Missouri are already complaining that Paris has stolen their spotlight and that their grievances are “terror” related, too.

    • #12
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:54 AM PDT
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  13. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    James Gawron: Also, how is your dad? Those Mathematicians are a hardy breed but that was some pretty rough treatment.

    Depressed, like all of us, and angry. Hard to tell how much of it is the natural after-effect of the surgery and how much a reaction to what happened. I’d rather take the television away from him — it can’t be good for him to watch this — but I don’t have that choice.

    • #13
    • November 15, 2015, at 10:57 AM PDT
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  14. James Gawron Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    James Gawron: Also, how is your dad? Those Mathematicians are a hardy breed but that was some pretty rough treatment.

    Depressed, like all of us, and angry. Hard to tell how much of it is the natural after-effect of the surgery and how much a reaction to what happened. I’d rather take the television away from him — it can’t be good for him to watch this — but I don’t have that choice.

    Claire,

    Sometimes a little anger is good medicine. I’m sure he is awake and alert if he is angry. I hope he heals quickly. I hope you are fine too. Don’t wear yourself out but do keep us posted.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #14
    • November 15, 2015, at 11:30 AM PDT
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  15. Kay of MT Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    James Gawron: Also, how is your dad? Those Mathematicians are a hardy breed but that was some pretty rough treatment.

    Depressed, like all of us, and angry. Hard to tell how much of it is the natural after-effect of the surgery and how much a reaction to what happened. I’d rather take the television away from him — it can’t be good for him to watch this — but I don’t have that choice.

    Claire, he would be more depressed if he were denied access to the news. His anger may just be the spark that keeps him alive and determined to get well. Bring him a notebook to jot down thoughts he may want to write about in the future.

    • #15
    • November 15, 2015, at 11:34 AM PDT
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  16. ParisParamus Member

    Je ne le savais pas, mais le Theatre Bataclan a des liens…juifs: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataclan_(theatre)

    • #16
    • November 15, 2015, at 11:35 AM PDT
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  17. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    ParisParamus:Je ne le savais pas, mais le Theatre Bataclan a des liens…juifs: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataclan_(theatre)

    Lots of stuff in Paris does. Jews go back here a long time.

    • #17
    • November 15, 2015, at 11:37 AM PDT
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  18. RabbitHoleRedux Inactive

    Z in MT: This phrase is the motto of Paris. It means, roughly, “tossed by the waves, but not sunk.” You can see it in the city’s coat of arms.

    Beautiful.

    • #18
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:07 PM PDT
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  19. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    TeamAmerica: Claire, How do you think this will effect the fate of the EU? Will people like Farage and the UKIP likely gain ground,

    Possibly.

    and do you think Marie LePen’s party will win the next election?

    Her chances are better now. A nice victory for Putin.

    Also, is Ms. LePen and her party more centrist and non-anti-semitic and non-fascist, unlike her father?

    Slightly more so, less anti-semitic, yes, but that strain is still very much there. The biggest problem with Marine is her enthusiasm for Putin. She’s convinced he’s the defender of the Christian heritage of European civilisation; she considers that Ukraine has been subjugated by the United States; she denounces anti-Russian feelings in Eastern Europe and the submission of Western Europe to NATO’s interests in the region. She’s against sanctions on Russia; she argues that the United States are leading a new Cold War.

    Their MEPs are basically a “pro-Russian bloc” in the European parliament, and the 2014, the Nouvel Observateur claimed that the Russian government considered the Front National “capable of seizing power in France and changing the course of European history in Moscow’s favour.” 

    She’s confirmed taking a €9 million loan from Moscow to support the Front National. Senior FN officials from the party’s political bureau claimed this was the first installment of a €40 million loan, although Le Pen has disputed this.

    In April 2015, a Russian hacker group published texts and emails between Timur Prokopenko, a member of Putin’s administration, and Konstantin Rykov, a former Duma deputy with ties to France, discussing Russian financial support to the Front National in exchange for its support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. 

    So all of this is pretty grim, whether she’s managed to cast off her father’s anti-Semitism or not. And basically, I don’t think she has any good ideas about what to do about the problem at hand, save for announcing that she’ll be very tough about it.

    • #19
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:11 PM PDT
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  20. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    James Gawron:Claire,

    Most interesting. Dr. Pipes thinks that the attack will have limited impact. I think I disagree. As the gentleman mentioned in the report, the response is much more uniformly negative. The government much angrier. I took the law you quoted to mean martial law for 14 days and then parliament gets to review.

    I think this could be much more the European 911. Your thoughts.

    Also, how is your dad? Those Mathematicians are a hardy breed but that was some pretty rough treatment.

    Regards,

    Jim

    You may find this discussion at the Lawfare blog on the French state of emergency decree of interest.

    • #20
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:12 PM PDT
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  21. Dave L Member

    Claire,

    I read somewhere that one of the terrorists was stopped trying to get entrance to the football stadium, but was found out by the screeners and blew himself up. If this is true might the other two bombers in that vicinity have possibly been planning the same, or even more diabolical, been planning on detonating as the crowds fled the stadium. The failure of the first bomber to achieve his objective might have led the other two to pick random targets where people were gathered, which might explain the Cambodian restaurant.

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    • November 15, 2015, at 12:15 PM PDT
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  22. Percival Thatcher

    If the French intelligence service is not using the state of emergency to grab everyone on their S-list and shaking them by the ankles to see what falls out, then there is no hope for them.

    • #22
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:19 PM PDT
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  23. civil westman Inactive

    “But to learn to use them in the way the terrorists did last night involves training and practice that would be difficult to do in France without being detected, but that they would obviously get in Syria.” -Arun

    I don’t agree about the amount of training necessary or the degree to which the attack represents an intelligence failure. Several groups of 2 – 3 individuals can effectively communicate in person or non-electronically and be non-detectable. It isn’t as though they were planning to invade hardened military installations with elaborate defenses. These were undefended civilian venues.

    Similarly, to use automatic weapons, hand grenades and body explosives one need only pull a trigger, pull a pin and push a button (or release a dead-man switch), respectively. Even if one does an “unprofessional” job, many deaths ensue. So, I am less convinced that trips to Syria were necessary or that available intelligence was missed. I think it likely that attacks involving few committed individuals cannot be prevented. To the extent they can, it must involve intercepting smuggled automatic weapons and explosives. That is where intelligence may have failed (were they invisible, inside cocaine?).

    To my way of thinking, an armed society (gasp) represents the best defense. The front lines of this war appear anywhere at any time. So, then, must the defenses. The state, omnipresent and omni-incompetent, is not likely to surprise us with newfound prowess in meeting this challenge. A biological analogy: cancer cells meet the immune system.

    • #23
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:26 PM PDT
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  24. ParisParamus Member

    My fiancée/opera professor pointed out that the Bataclan theater is not only that, but named after Jacques Offenbach, a Jew. I don’t know if ISIS terrorists really go this deep in choosing targets, but it’s worth mentioning, I suppose…

    Mark: A question for you. I’ve read one piece speculating that the Bataclan was targeted because it has Jewish ownership, the theater has hosted a number of Israel related events, been the subject of BDS and other anti-Israel protests and the band that was playing that night had recently toured Israel. Have you read or heard anything along those lines?

    • #24
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:29 PM PDT
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  25. Pilgrim Thatcher

    RabbitHoleRedux:

    Z in MT: This phrase is the motto of Paris. It means, roughly, “tossed by the waves, but not sunk.” You can see it in the city’s coat of arms.

    Beautiful

    Does’nt “ca signifie merde a la mort” mean “Death to the F’ers?”

    • #25
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:31 PM PDT
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  26. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    Z in MT:I hope that French fear gives way to French resolve.

    Less of this silliness and bit more anger coupled with martial vigor would be a good first step.

    As hundreds of mourners gathered outside Paris’ Bataclan venue, where a terror attack at an Eagles of Death Metal show resulted in the death of 118 people, an unknown musician set up a grand piano outside the concert hall and delivered a poignant, instrumental take on John Lennon’s “Imagine.” A peace sign adorned the musician’s piano.

    • #26
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:38 PM PDT
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  27. ParisParamus Member

    Pilgrim: this too http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-last-time-islamic-terrorists-came.html

    • #27
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:42 PM PDT
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  28. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Pilgrim: Does’nt “ca signifie merde a la mort” mean “Death to the F’ers?”

    More like, “To hell with your death,” but stronger.

    • #28
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:44 PM PDT
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  29. ctlaw Coolidge

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Her chances are better now. A nice victory for Putin.

    Also, is Ms. LePen and her party more centrist and non-anti-semitic and non-fascist, unlike her father?

    Slightly more so, less anti-semitic, yes, but that strain is still very much there. The biggest problem with Marine is her enthusiasm for Putin. She’s convinced he’s the defender of the Christian heritage of European civilisation; she considers that Ukraine has been subjugated by the United States; she denounces anti-Russian feelings in Eastern Europe and the submission of Western Europe to NATO’s interests in the region. She’s against sanctions on Russia; she argues that the United States are leading a new Cold War.

    The problem is that there is no alternative. Putin can claim the title of Defender of Christendom because it is clear nobody else wants it who has a chance of following through (even if there’s only a 10% chance Putin even intends to follow through).

    It’s like Trump laying claim to leadership of the conservative movement. Sure there’s a 30% chance he’s a plant, and a 50% chance he’s just self-serving. The 20% chance that he will do what he says is better than we can get from most of the alternatives.

    • #29
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:44 PM PDT
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  30. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Mark: You may find this discussion at the Lawfare blog on the French state of emergency decree of interest.

    Yes, thanks, I do.

    • #30
    • November 15, 2015, at 12:50 PM PDT
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