There are hundreds dead in targeted attacks by armed extremists against unarmed peaceful folk going about their lives in the city of Paris. This is an attack not only upon the people of France, but upon the freedom of the western world. It is up to you to decide whether it will be successful.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. This is foundation of the French Revolution, an ideal that all men and women should be free and equal, joined in a society where they stood united by a common duty to protect their shared freedom, and work together towards a brighter tomorrow. There was no room in this vision for divisions of faith, of social class, economic status, or even race. One people, united in the belief that through their spirited squabbling and debate, through the raised voices of a hundred different opinions, the sound of freedom, and the sound of hope would ring.
Hundreds of people are dead, cut down by those who use the gun, the bomb, and their utter contempt for the lives of human beings as the foundation of their vision for France, and indeed, the world. They feel there is and can be only one right way to think, to act, to believe. They do not value any liberty, save liberty to be free to hate as they have always hated, to treat half the human race as nothing more than farm machinery you can have sex with, nothing less than chattels, property, unworthy of the freedoms we deem both men and women to justly inherit with their citizenship. They do not believe anyone has the right to believe any differently than they do, and they are willing to kill, rather than learning to compromise.
They are not that powerful. Understand this. Hundreds died today, men, women and children whose only crime was to be present when someone decided to make a political point with the blood of others. This will only succeed if we choose to let them. During the height of the blitz, the UK lost 43 000 civilian dead between September 1940 and May 1941. This is a stunning total, but it changed nothing, because the people chose to not give in to their fear, they chose to remain British, and protect those values that made that little island unconquerable.
Terrorism is the infliction of death, to sow fear, and create social change. Weapons, on a strategic scale, are devices to change the enemies mind. Defeat is created in the mind of the foe through the infliction of damage to his forces or folk. Realistically, the terrorists cannot actually overcome the security forces of France, nor can they force the French people to convert to their beliefs with such attacks.
Their target is not the bodies of the people of France, for no matter how many of them they kill, they cannot threaten France itself. Their targets can be destroyed, and will begin to undergo the true attack in the days ahead. The targets of the terrorists are three:
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
The enemy of the terrorist is not the opposing fanatic, they are in fact important allies. The enemy of the terrorist is the moderate. The enemy of terror is freedom, is hands extended in welcome, is the brotherhood that looks upon those whose language and faith is different and seeks not the alien to hate, but a brother or sister to introduce to liberty, to teach to live in equality, and to build a real and iron fraternity.
Tonight rang with blood and fire, let the dawn sound not with the bells of mourning, not with cries for revenge, but with