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Mass murder claimed by ISIS in the heart of Paris. What now? Is it war? Is there a better way?
The sounds and scenes from Paris are so sickening. Attacks, mass murder, claimed by ISIS. In the heart of the city. Gruesome. Pitiless. Well-planned. Shocking, even now. And the reaction: heartbreak, fury, fear of more attacks. And a deep hunger to effectively respond. So what would, what will that mean? French leaders have called this an act of war. Is war the right response? We went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. How can, should the response this time look different? Better. This hour On Point, the shocking attacks in Paris and the way forward now. For Europe. For the United States. On ISIS.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Former CIA case officer, primarily working on Middle Eastern targets.
Gilles Kepel, French political scientist and specialist of the Islam and contemporary Arab. Professor at Sciences Po-Paris and member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Author of the forthcoming book, "Terror in the Hexagon 2005-2015: The Genesis of the French Jihad."
Anthony Cordesman, senior fellow and chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he is also a national security analyst.
From Tom's Reading List
France 24: Paris attacks: ‘There was blood everywhere’ — "The exact sequence of gun and bomb assaults on the concert hall, the Stade de France sports stadium and restaurants in the 10th and 11th arrondissements of the French capital is still unclear. The first blast was heard at 9:17pm local time outside the Stade de France, where France and Germany were playing a friendly soccer international in the presence of President François Hollande. Authorities said three suicide bombers had blown themselves up outside the stadium, with at least two explosions distinctly heard by spectators."
New York Times: Paris Attacks Were an ‘Act of War’ by ISIS, Hollande Says — "The attacks, and the possibility that the Islamic State was to blame, promised to further traumatize France and other European countries already fearful of violent jihadists radicalized by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere. It could also lend weight to the xenophobic arguments of right-wing populists like Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party."
The Wall Street Journal: A France-U.S. Anti-Islamist Alliance — "The massacres of Nov. 13 may well prove as momentous as 9/11. France is no longer a great power. Yet, fascinated by the might and freedoms of the U.S. and diffident about their own capacities, the French underestimate their influence. Frenchmen largely set the narrative for Western elites after the second Gulf War started going south."
Watch French President Francois Hollande Address A Joint Session Of Parliament
Watch President Barack Obama's Press Conference On The Paris Attacks
This program aired on November 16, 2015.
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