All I know for sure right now is that it’s not a good day to be a Parisian.
As I write this, Paris is under siege. Currently, the confused reports from the media are putting the death toll at “over 100,” a figure that’s “sure to rise” in this organized campaign of bombings, shootings and hostage taking. That this is a terrorist attack is abundantly clear. What isn’t clear is who is behind it. The smart money says Al Qaeda, a group that we’ve been told, until today, has been made ineffective. (Editor’s note: This morning the Islamic State took credit for the attacks.)
The attack is a surprise to no one. As much as our leaders like to swagger and brag about the good job they’ve done thwarting all manner of planned attacks in the past, we know that the truth is that they have been lucky. No matter how many times you catch groups planning on blowing up cars in Times Square or launching a bloody attack on transit systems, someone is eventually bound to stay off the radar and be successful. It’s happened before in Paris, not to mention Boston, Mumbai and Spain — which is where it gets our attention and stokes our fears. When it happens in places like Baghdad, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria and Lebanon — which is all the time — we ignore the bloodshed and suffering because the victims probably deserve it for being poor and third world.