Saturday the French ambassador to the United States Gerard Araud downplayed the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic facilities in Iran. Following the execution of controversial Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Iranian mobs surely backed by the clerical regime set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran, and the kingdom's consulate in Iran's second-largest city, Mashad. In response to the destruction of diplomatic missions, the chief of France's diplomatic mission in Washington wrote that "Iran was obliged to react. Burning an embassy is spectacular but not war."
Araud articulated his bizarrely obtuse thesis during a Twitter exchange with Omri Ceren, the managing director for press at the Israel Project.Read more
"The magazine of the Islamic State orders Muslim parents to withdraw their children from French schools and calls for them to kill those who teach there." Thus declares a recent headline in the French press.
In a recent article in Le Figaro, Marie-Estelle Pech discusses the latest issue of Dar al Islam, the online French language magazine of ISIS. As Pech writes, "Titled 'France on its Knees'… Dar al Islam returns with evident delight in its latest issue to the attacks in Paris on November 13th." Pech describes the magazine as a propaganda tool directed toward French-speaking future jihadists.Read more
In the confusion and horror of Paris in shock, the details stay with you. In the bleary early Saturday morning, behind the police barriers, a lone tour bus was still parked on Boulevard Voltaire in front of the Bataclan concert hall, where the Eagles of Death Metal gig had been bloodily interrupted by Daesh terrorists the night before.Read more
Speaking in Paris on November 17, Secretary of State John Kerry made what are already infamous comments about the fight against terrorists and terrorism. He spoke to the staff and families of the U.S. embassy in Paris, and his remarks deserve quoting at some length—because they display a deep misunderstanding of what we are up against and how it must be fought. In State Department lingo his remarks would be called “deeply troubling.” In normal English usage, they are astonishing and unforgivable. Here are two paragraphs.Read more
After the astonishing German break through the French lines in May 1940, Winston Churchill flew to Paris to meet his French counterpart, Prime Minister Paul Reynaud, and army chief Maurice Gamelin. Reynaud had called Churchill in near-hysterics, but even Churchill wasn’t prepared for the utter despondency he would find amongst the French command. “Où est la masse de manoeuvre?” Churchill asked in his charmingly awful French.Read more
For those of us who were in Mumbai during the 2008 terrorist attacks there, the bulletins from Paris on Friday night evoked queasy déjà vu. With each shocking addition to the story—drive-by shootings at one crowded restaurant and then another, explosions reported at the other end of town, casualty estimates rising sharply, and then the first social media hints at hostages being calmly slaughtered—the feeling intensified.Read more
If Europe doesn’t get serious about protecting its borders, it’s going to head back to the days of barbed wire and concrete walls. That’s what President François Hollande warned when he went before a rare joint sitting of France’s National Assembly and Senate to argue for an extended three-month state of emergency. His warning came in the wake of the half-dozen simultaneous bomb and machine-gun attacks in Paris on November 13, claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), that left at least 130 dead.Read more
In remarks today in Paris, France, Secretary of State John Kerry justified the terror attack earlier this year that targeted the magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. This latest attack, by contrast, was different, said Kerry.Read more
Bernard-Henri Lévy has written an intelligent and forceful, if somewhat grandiloquent, piece on Paris and its implications. Highlights:
So it’s war.
A new kind of war. A war with and without borders, with and without states, a war doubly new because it blends the non-territorial model of al-Qaeda with the old territorial paradigm to which Islamic State has returned.
But a war all the same.Read more
Give a man a reputation as an early riser, as the old saw goes, and he can sleep until noon everyday. The same phenomenon evidently applies to bad reputations as well. Brand Donald Trump a bigot, and suddenly every policy he endorses, no matter how innocuous or mainstream, becomes repugnant.Read more
Like the Bourbons, Barack Obama and his national security advisers have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They have not forgotten that they were first elected in 2008 to “end” Middle East wars, and the administration’s response to the attacks in Paris last week reveals that they have yet to learn any different.Read more
Bill Kristol joined ABC's This Week yesterday to discuss the terror attacks in Paris:Read more
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris Friday that killed more than 120 people and injured hundreds more, world leaders from President Barack Obama to newly elected Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and from U.K. prime minister David Cameron to German chancellor Angela Merkel, have expressed their solidarity with France. An exception is Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who sees mass murder as an opportunity to say I told you so.Read more
During Saturday night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton was asked about bringing in Syrian refugees.
"I think that is the number one requirement. I also said that we should take increased numbers of refugees. The [Obama] administration originally said 10 [thousand]. I said we should go to 65 [thousand], but only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine, whatever resources it takes. I do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country."Read more
The Department of Homeland Security says there is no threat of a terrorist attack like the one in France happening immediately in America.
"The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are closely monitoring events in Paris and we are in contact with our counterparts in the region. At this time, we know of no specific or credible threats of an attack on the U.S. homeland of the type that occurred in Paris tonight," DHS secretary Jeh Johnson says in a statement released to the press.Read more
President Obama condemned tonight's terror attack in France in a statement he delivered from the White House:
"Good evening, everybody. I just want to make a few brief comments about the attacks across Paris tonight. Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.Read more
Moody’s must have it in for France. Sure, its economy is moribund. Sure, its trade unions are among the most intransigent in the world. But surely the socialist government deserves some credit for one of the most significant reforms in 200 years.Read more
There was a memorable instance of multiculturalism last week that The Scrapbook heartily commends to readers. Google for the touching video of the ceremony at the Elysée Palace in which the president of France, François Hollande, pins the Legion of Honor ribbons on Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos—the three young Americans who risked their lives to disarm and subdue a terrorist gunman on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris—while giving each of them a very formal French bisou on both cheeks.Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"Read more
As he has for much of his post-presidency, Bill Clinton was on the road again in June, traveling to Europe at the end of the month for various conferences and other public appearances. After a few days in London, the president popped over to Paris for a day or two to shop at Hermès, a well-known luxury boutique. Such trips, however, do not come cheap. Hotel contracts for the president's Secret Service team for the Paris leg of the trip alone came to over $48,000.Read more
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