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Opinion: War in Paris | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The French President François Hollande

“An act of war”. This is how the French President described the terrorist attacks in Paris which targeted his country on Friday. It is certainly a description that is not far from the truth, not only because of the unprecedented death toll in the history of terrorist operations in the Republic of France, but because of the fright that the terrorists spread among French society and the world at large considering the fact that every citizen in any spot of the five continents is a potential target of terrorism. Perhaps the only positive news to come out of these attacks is that all observers knew who the perpetrators of the attacks were before the official announcements made by ISIS, and the world’s biggest enemy today is terrorist organisations led by ISIS and Al-Qaeda who share the same extremist ideology except that the war against them differs from one country to another.

However, with the universal shock of the world on Friday at the bad news from Paris, I do not think there is anyone who expects a day without these bloody attacks here or there, targeting a magazine that no one reads in Paris, heading off to bomb a mosque in Saudi Arabia and then moving to Turkey or Egypt or Australia. Thus, all countries of the world have become a target for terrorist organisations that live in a world of their own with the exception of Iran who ISIS does not come close to, just as Al-Qaeda did not come near to it previously. Of course, this is not the time to blame those who are lax with regards to the fight against terrorism or who exploit it for intelligence or political purposes or think that the fires will burn and extinguish far away from them. Yet the terrorists frankly and unequivocally present their crimes as having no roof whatsoever like those who draw up their policies on the basis that the field of terrorism will remain confined to the hot spots like Iraq and Syria. Here is France, another victim of the lack of firm, international resolution which asserts that the war on terrorism is a real, strategic goal and not just resonant recommendations and speeches which are not actually reflected on the ground, and not, for example, the world’s largest country’s decision to send tens of experts to address the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.