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13 November 2015


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Yes, Amir, that's surely part of it. Just heard an interview with a french-speaking Eastern European gal who, from her car, faced off with one of the shooters. 4 people inside, took fire, miraculously no one hurt. She squared up, looked straight at the camera at said "If you are watching, you are cowards. We will continue each day to live our lives." Heading to Paris tonight, had planned a party with friends. Will likely be smaller, more sober than planned. We will live our lives.


"Will this be an excuse to send more U.S. troops into Syria?"

Of course, and, going out on a limb, here is how it'll likely go at the Weekly Standard, the WP and the WSJ Editorial Page:

'It is all Putin's fault. Had Putin, the adventurer, not invaded Syria, this would have never happened. That is why the US needs to invade Syria, because it is the toleration of tyrants like Assad that makes terrorrists want to kill Frenchmen in Paris. The US must thus ally with moderate Jihadis in Syria to bring upon his deserved downfall.'

Well, I presume the Paris attacks must have been comitted by some of the more immoderate jihadis.


I suppose, nay, hope, this will have a stiffening effect as far as dissuading the French and German governments from the notion, embraced by neocons, Turks and Gulfies, that suppoorting Jihadis in Syria to fight against Assad, and perhaps later against Russia and Chia, is a brilliant idea.


Re. Beslan - just recently I read an article (I won't link to the screed) in which the author accused the Russians of being responsible for the dead at Beslan and that killing bystanders is Russia's way of killing terrorists. That was a profoundly unfair and dumb thing to say.

I read that in Paris, the security folks shot one terrorists who still detonated his bomb. That MoH recipient tackled this suicide bomber and that guy still detonated his bomb. It suggests that against that sort of enemy a zero bystander casualty mission is unlikely and should not be expected.

It ignores that the sort of terrorist rampaging in Paris, or Beslan or Mumbai, hides amongst civilians if they aren't butchering them, sometimes both at the same time.

The Beslan or Moscow theatre or Mubai hotel settings would have been an utter nightmare for every security force anywhere - even the better prepared, funded, trained and organised units somewhere else - and to make matters worse, Beslan caught Russian at a time they were woefully unprepared. How do you prevent a terrorist with a dead man switch from detonating his vest amonst civilians? What when they have mined the hostages, as they did in Moscow and Beslan? What when they fortified the building where they were holding hostages? Never mind. It's all Putin's fault.

Just to get the idea about what sort of operation we are talking about, here's one former Indian officer doing a pep talk about his country's - skillfull and lucky - response to the Mumbai Hotel hostage taking.


Some swagger, but quite interesting.

William R. Cumming

Wondering how many NATURALIZED Americans have won the MOH?

William R. Cumming

The attackers are NIHILISTS IMO not believers!

A. Pols

Will this be the wake up call for EU member countries to reconsider whether open borders is such a good idea?


"move into the modernity"?
I think they should move to a small island with no way off.


leave it at suspended. 'There's life in the old dog yet'.

r whitman

This has to be considered another major failure by the intelligence services.

Babak Makkinejad

They are not Nihilists.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you are right about Putin and as a consequence of this attack, the political position of Putin in Russia as well as his intervention in the Syrian Civil War have become unassailable.

Babak Makkinejad

Nothing can be done to bring Modernity to Muslims. France ruled Algeria for 130 and left with no trace of Modernity - except military dictatorship there.


the pattern of recent targets : kurds in Ankara, Russian plane, Chiites in Beyrouth, has draw in blood the format of what should be the core of a real efficient coalition :
Syrian loyalist & allies

France must stop those crazy (& schizophrenics) policies of fighting Assad while pretending to eradicate the jihadists...

And yes, the real viper's nest is the KSA. It's (long due) time to shake this kingdom of evil, sowing and financing hate and obscurantism, from Dakar to Dhaka, since 40 years of oil bounty.

Philippe, proudly living in "the capital of abominations and perversion" (IS dixit)

Babak Makkinejad

Nothing will be done.

France, UK, and US each have concluded arms deals worth more than $ 10 billion with Saudi Arabia.

Ken Roberts

"We will continue to live our lives." Bravo! Yes, that is the heart of the ideal response.

It is desirable that "the authorities" respond appropriately. Right now so much has been predictable -- closing the borders, advising folk to stay home not venture out. Extending the OODA loop duration leaves too many opportunities for further terrorist initiatives, as well as voluntarily incurring additional societal disruption. Rather like an animal that responds to a wound by rebounding, only to tumble off the cliff in another direction; or an irritant that causes a severe histamine reaction or a fever.

It is part of the job of the "authorities" to handle such matters in a sensible manner. Not closing borders or otherwise getting in the way of ordinary people's activities. Letting them continue to live their lives.

The number of dead in these attacks is about the average number of natural deaths in Paris in a single day. On Nov 13th, 2015, there has been a blip. In the year 2016, the number of deaths in Paris may go up by a similar number, because that is a leap year with 366 days. Would one reform the calendar to reduce death?

It will seem insensitive to write the prior paragraph. It is indeed insensitive. Shock and grief must develop towards resolve and effective action. The woman in the car is further along than most of us.

There must be long OODA responses, involving for instance careful forensic work. Those attacks were planned and coordinated, which meant obtaining access (concert?), comms, etc. Much to do, and doing it well takes time. It also takes non-prejudgement, the maintenance of ambiguity, despite the three-week media attention span.

There must also be faster, layered responses. Don't just twitch at an insect bite and respolve to buy mosquito netting; also slap back.

But most important, it takes firmness and courage among ordinary folks who have daily work to do and lives to live. Those whom are supposed to be served and protected. Thank you for posting her words.



I agree with Babak that they are not nihilists. WRC, they believe in something different than you and they are trying to build their dream. unfortunately, that dream involves our destruction as a civilization and as Hollande said today, we must be "impitoyable." pl


That girls attitude is the correct one.

You know the point of "terrorism" is to terrorize. Terrorists can't kill or harm everyone who goes in to the streets (a regime could do that). So be way to foil terrorists intention is to be vigilant, make their (terrorists) life more hard and live your life.


It could very well be that under the pretense to be "impitoyable" to the Jihadis Hollande is STILL playing the same game of bringing chaos to the ME by "removing Assad" and is actually (with all his "partners", official and concealed) in a collision course with Russia!

(Welcome to WWIII...)

The Beaver

Just have to wait and see what would come out of the mouth of the Chihuahua after the Vienna meeting today.

Both the UK and France were insisting on the removal of Bashar al-Assad as well as KSA and Qatar in the previous meeting.


Yes, it is ludicrous to suggest, as some American politicos have done in the last month, that now that Putin is bombing ISIS in Syria, they are turning on Russians.

Yves Montand once quipped that 'pacifist are sheep who believe the wolf has become vegetarian'. People who believe in good and bad jihadis are like his sheep. Salafist Jihadis do not differentiate which type of heathen they hate more. Russians, French, Brits, Germans, Americans, Shia, Alawites, Jews, Druze, Christians are all fair game. They are equal opportinity killers.


I am wondering what was the ISIS's rationale to do this. Does ISIS leadership think Europe will force Russia to abandon its Syria's policy?


r. Whitman

In theory you are right about yet another "intelligence failure." But... In fact you would have to be very lucky to have detected this in advance. people tend to think that the intelligence process is about achieving perfect knowledge. It is not. it is about knowing as much knowledge as you can manage. In this case even near perfect clandestine HUMINT penetration of IS would have to have achieved penetration of what was probably a very tightly compartmented planning cell in Syria. what's the chance? Pretty near nothing. these guys have learned a lot of lessons and there was probably no SIGINT at all. No SIGINT and damn little social media. A few people traveling do not present a target for satellite reconnaissance. So what it would come down to is internal French and international police intelligence in the area of the attack. Resources available to the police are not infinite. pl

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I don't want to get optimistic, but some things are changing.

The British 'Teufelkspakt' with the Saudis, which goes back a very long way, has mostly been 'under the radar' as far as all but a few people here are concerned – and in any case, has not appeared to have a notable downside for us. It is a relatively small number who have for years been fretting about the long-term problems it might cause us.

However, recent events have changed this situation rather dramatically.

The change has been very visible in the gap which has opened up between what the MSM say, and the increasingly derisive response they get in the comments on these, in recent months.

An interesting sign that a few in the MSM are capitulating came with a report in the 'Express' yesterday. The comments are, once again, overwhelmingly pro-Putin, but what is really striking is the opening, which reads:

'BRITISH butcher Jihadi John could not have been targeted WITHOUT Russia strongman Vladimir Putin stepping in and ramping up the pressure against Islamic State (ISIS), according to political commentators around the world.'

(See http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/619227/Jihadi-John-ISIS-Vladimir-Putin-Russia-killed-airstrikes-Syria .)

A very great many people here want the jihadists destroyed. Without betting my shirt on it, I think it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that our relationship with the Saudis may both be exposed to the 'oxygen of publicity', and come to be viewed in a very different light.

William R. Cumming

Respectfully disagree!

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