Translated from the French, an editorial of Alexis Brézet, Editor of Le Figaro:
Merah, Charlie, Bataclan, Magnanville, and now Nice…How many more times until we recognize what is staring us in the face? How many more savage attacks, how many more maddened massacres, before our leaders become willing to admit that Islamic fanaticism is waging a war to the death against our country and our civilization? How many innocent victims – men, women, children – before our rulers finally decide to take the ruthless measures necessary that the barbarism of Allah’s madmen demands?
Merah, Charlie, Bataclan, Magnanville, and now Nice….More than two hundred names etched into the memory of our country, and still we have the same granitic chins, the same solemn declarations, the same tremolos in the voices. And then what? A few more soldiers in the streets, a few touch-ups to the laws, a few bombings in far-away lands, and then…nothing.
“We are at war.” There, it’s said. After so much procrastination, the phrase is now on everyone’s lips. But does anyone really believe it? “Aux armes, citoyens” [from la Marseillaise], we exclaim full-throatedly, but our arms are those of peace, of candles and hashtags and funeral processions and the procedural subtleties of our criminal code.
In truth, a phony war! We leave our borders (what soldiers call our lines) wide open to our enemies. The recruiting agents for the jihad preach their doctrine of hate with impunity, in the very mosques financed by the enemy. Those we call “traitors” who went off to fight in Syria [for the Islamic State] upon returning undergo nothing more than a simple course of “deradicalization.” As for those flagged as a “threat to national security,” who might constitute a fifth column, they roam freely because “they haven’t yet committed any crime.”
War? What war? We live as if we are at peace! The state of emergency doesn’t prevent the unions from demonstrating, nor the festive gatherings that some claim – and they are not joking – “are the best response to the Islamic State.” The president of the Republic himself appeared not to believe that there’s a war on: he calmly announced, on the fourteenth of July, the end of the state of emergency and the lifting of some security measures, before having to backtrack throughout the night, when the tragic reality brought him back to his senses…
These soldiers of the caliphate don’t wage war by halves. They come right up to us to “slit the throats of our sons and our women” [from La Marseillaise: “egorger nos fils et nos compagnes”], and in return we offer them the protection of our laws — to the very people who want to destroy us! Never before in history has an enemy benefited so much from the willingness of those he fights to accommodate him.
This willful blindness has lasted far too long. To win the war, it has to be conducted without half-measures and pusillanimity. And to give those who are fighting a chance to win, we must rearm in every sense. Rearmament for our soldiers and police, of course. Rearmament, by strengthening our laws, everywhere it proves necessary. Rearmament, by strengthening our conviction that we are in the right, to overcome collectively the perverse logic clothed in the mental rags of “living together,” which in France is used to block any serious measures being taken against the root of radical Islam, with the refrain that “that would be playing into the hands of the terrorists.” As if to say that we would fight more effectively if we presented our necks to their knives. As if the surest path to communal violence was not precisely the failure to act of the State, the only legitimate holder of power, the only real guarantor of civil peace…
Obviously, there is no miracle weapon that will do away with the hydra-headed Islamic beast. We should not minimize the risk of attacks. But is that a reason to avoid attempting anything? Certainly this war that has been declared on us will be long and difficult. We will undoubtedly suffer further defeats, which is one more reason not to lose still more time. Merah, Charlie, Bataclan, Magnanville, Nice… Now is the time to act if we want to someday bring that sinister litany to an end.