French president Francois Hollande called for “a union of all who can fight” to destroy ISIS. He called on the United States and Russia to set aside their differences and to join together in an international coalition to battle jihadist terrorism.
But President Obama appeared to reject that plea, saying that what his administration is currently doing is sufficient!
Details and new information about the Paris attack after the jump.
Addressing lawmakers after France observed a minute of silence honoring the 129 people killed and 350 wounded, Hollande said the victims came from at least 19 nations, and the international community, led by the United States and Russia, must overcome their deep-seated divisions over Syria to destroy Islamic State on its home turf.
“Friday’s acts of war were decided and planned in Syria. They were organized in Belgium and perpetrated on our soil with French complicity with one specific goal: to sow fear and to divide us,” Hollande told Parliament in a rare joint session convened at the Palace of Versailles.
“Syria has become the biggest factory of terrorism the world has ever known, and the international community is still too divided and too incoherent.”. . .
Seven attackers died — six after detonating suicide belts and a seventh from police gunfire — but Iraqi intelligence officials told The Associated Press that its sources indicated 19 participated in the attack and five others provided hands-on logistical support. . . .
In his Versailles address, Hollande said the United States and Russia needed to cooperate in attacking IS targets “to unify our strength and achieve a result that has been too long in coming.”
“We need a union of all who can fight this terrorist army in a single coalition,” he said.
“We are not in a war of civilizations, because these assassins don’t represent one. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism, which threatens the entire world.”
Speaking in Turkey, Obama said the Paris bloodshed marked a “terrible and sickening setback” in the West’s anti-Islamic State campaign.
But he insisted his strategy of building an international coalition to launch air strikes, while training and equipping more moderate forces on the ground, remained the best approach. He didn’t comment on whether Russia should join that coalition.
“The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work,” Obama said. “It’s going to take time.”
The Islamic State group issued a new 12-minute video Monday threatening to attack all nations involved in bombing IS positions in Syria and Iraq.
One man in the video threatened to target the United States in the same style as Paris, saying that as “we struck France on its ground in Paris, we will strike America on its ground in Washington.”
Terrorists were unable to get into the soccer stadium where some 79,000 fans watched a match between France and Germany. Good security measures apparently thwarted that attack, so the suicide bombers blew themselves up outside, killing only one instead of thousands.
Russia has announced that its investigators have determined that its airliner that exploded over Egypt, killing all 224 passengers, was the target of a terrorist attack. Vladimir Putin is already breathing his own ominous threats against ISIS.
I don’t know why we wouldn’t partner with Russia–which is already bombing in Syria, both ISIS and other groups rebelling against the current Assad regime–and Putin would probably be willing to provide the primary muscle in any military incursion. Hey, partner with Iran, and bring the Shi’ites in to fight the Sunni ISIS. Also bring in Sunni regimes like the Saudis who are also threatened by this self-proclaimed “caliphate.” We can return to our old issues and conflicts after ISIS is defeated.
The world is now willing to come together to fight ISIS barbarism. The world is pleading for American leadership. But, burned by the Iraq war, America is standing on the sidelines. Hopefully, France, Russia, and the rest of the world will act without us, if need be. But the response of President Obama to the French plea for help is shameful.
Remember how, during the first days of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, Americans made fun of the French for refusing to help? Well, the French are the new Americans. And the Americans are the new French.