Paris was attacked on Nov. 13. ISIS has claimed responsibility – big surprise. There were at least 8 attackers – 7 killed themselves in suicide bombings –and probably a few guys working behind the scenes with them to provide transportation and move weapons. At least 129 people were killed and around 430 were injured during coordinated attacks in the busiest parts of the City of Light.
The attacks started around 9:20pm Paris time. One of the suicide bombers detonated at the Stade de France, where the German and French national soccer teams were playing, after being foiled by a security checkpoint. Another detonated a few minutes later at a McDonald’s nearby. In central Paris, a small unit of terrorists shot up Petit Cambodge (a Cambodian restaurant) and Le Carillon (a bar across the street); killing 15 people who were just trying to enjoy their Friday night. The same men got back into their car and drove a little way down the road to Casa Nostra (a pizzeria) and killed five people who were just trying to enjoy a meal. 15 minutes after the attacks started, the fifth took place at La Belle Equipe (bar) about a mile away. 18 ordinary people died there while trying to enjoy the nightlife.
The night of chaos ended at the Bataclan, a theater, when the remaining terrorists swarmed inside the sold-out venue during a show by the Eagles of Death Metal. The terrorists began shooting into the crowd of 1,500 people and eventually ended up creating a hostage scenario in the chaos of people fleeing the club. It was evident that the men were not going to surrender peacefully and only wanted to kill, maim, and strike fear into the hearts of Parisians and the world. French anti-terrorism commandos used stun grenades and cleared the building amidst fleeing concert attendees, suicide bomber detonations, and gunfire. Two of the last three attackers detonated themselves before GIGN could reach them and blew both of their bodies to bits. The last attacker was shot to death around 12:30am. The attackers were a mix of Belgian and French citizens of Arab descent.
These are terrible things that could happen to any of us at any time. No one wants to be shot to death or blown up. Everyone in the world just wants to be happy. But some people are filled with a murderous conviction to avenge perceived offenses that the United States and her allies have carried out in the Middle East for many years. ISIS is a terrible beast – a product of the “Western World’s” modern political imperialism and economic exploitation of the Middle East.
The Paris attacks were a terrible tragedy that sparked much sentiment and heartbreak around the world. However, that wasn’t the only terrorist action (by ISIS and others) this week. There was a suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon on the 12th where 43 were killed and 239 were injured. A shooting in West Bank, Israel on the 13th killed 2 and left 2 injured. A bombing in Baghdad, Iraq on the 13th killed 26, with 61 injured. Bombings in Yola, Nigeria on the 17th: at least 31 killed, 72 injured. Suicide bombings by two girls, 11 and 18 years old, in Kano, Nigeria on the 18th: at least 15 killed (including the two attackers). And yesterday, November 18, three men shouting good things about ISIS stabbed a Jewish schoolteacher in the arm and the leg. He is still alive. All those lives lost, just this week.
It is important to remember that all lives matter and that just because the mainstream media is only telling us about the Paris attacks, doesn’t mean you can’t have sorrow and compassion for those grieving in other countries.
Many people are wondering why these attacks happened in Paris and who the attackers were. The answer is manifold, but there are a couple big reasons. First, attacks can happen anywhere. There isn’t a single security that can provide 100 percent coverage. It is possible, anywhere, to smuggle in component parts of guns or bombs and create chaos. It is only on the individual level that we can see something and report it. Secondly, France is a nearly gun-free zone because of stringent gun control regulation. There is a national ban on civilian ownership of fully automatic weapons, which is exactly the type of weapon (not to mention the bomb-vests) that the attackers used. France’s gun control laws make it nearly impossible for a citizen to carry a firearm for self-defense. These attacks are a prime example of a gun-free zone doing nothing to stop attackers.
Yes, ISIS claims to be a Muslim organization, but just as the Ku Klux Klan is not representative of all Christians, ISIS is not representative of all Muslims. Islamophobia will not solve any problems. Please, continue to be respectful of peaceful people with different beliefs than you. A lot of people blame the attacks on the Syrian refugees somehow, as is they were personally responsible for transporting the terrorists. To be clear, it is probable that some terrorists are getting into countries more easily because they are blending in with the refugees, but the refugees themselves are people in need of our support. You don’t have to let them live in your house, but you can donate to many legitimate charities that are trying to place the refugees in more stable, clean and safe conditions. France’s president, Francois Hollande, even in the wake of the attacks on Paris, is welcoming 30,000 screened Syrian refugees into France over the next two years. This is exactly what we should all be doing, instead of promoting Islamophobia and racist ideas.
All lives are important, security will never be perfect, and bad guys will always exist. So, be prepared to defend yourself.