Juan Cole – Paris at Midnight: Attempt to push France out of anti ISIL coalition in Syria?

Paris was hit by at least two well-trained and -equipped terrorist cells in a coordinated attack on 6 or 7 soft targets on Friday night. The attack that took the most lives, over 120 according to a high French official, was the assault on the audience for a musical performance by the Eagles of Death Metal (not actually a death metal band) at the Bataclan concert hall. Four assailants shot down audience members with machine guns, then when police went in after midnight, three detonated their suicide bomb belts. A fourth was shot dead, but then when he fell, his bomb went off anyway. But the cowards also shot up a Cambodian restaurant, set off bombs outside a soccer stadium and committed carnage elsewhere.

Regular readers know that I grew up in part in France; I had a fellowship at the Nouvelle Sorbonne a couple of years ago in Paris, a city I absolutely adore, and this news hit me viscerally. I can only express my support and profound solidarity with the brave Parisians.


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