Posted by / Category Politics /

I tend to write light-hearted things on this blog. That’s the way I have always wanted it, because there are far too many people taking themselves far too seriously already, and I don’t want to be one of them. My blog is supposed to make you smile. Sometimes cringe, maybe. But that’s all. And, to me, that’s more than enough.

But today, I can’t really write about anything else than the Paris attacks. Because I am still in shock. Because I used to live in Paris. Because somehow I naively believed that we were dealing with a few ‘lone wolves’ rather than such a well-organised terrorist organisation. Because I still can’t believe that what has happened has actually happened. A part of me still expects the whole thing to be a nightmare. Let’s face it, it could have been any of us having a drink on a terrace, or attending a concert. We are all potential victims of terrorism. My daughters. My family. Me. My friends. Anyone, really. And anywhere too. Why would a group of human beings do something like this? We are dealing with monsters here, not humans. That’s the only plausible explanation, right? They are already dead inside.

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Don’t get me wrong, I know that terrorists attacks will probably become more and more common. According to Wikipedia, there were 289 terrorist incidents so far (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2015) Just this year. Just a few days before the Paris attacks, there was a suicide bombing in Lebanon. It never stops.

We take so many things for granted, including being alive. In fact, we are the lucky ones.

I felt really useless in the wake of the attacks. In fact, I still feel useless. I tried to use my Twitter account to help people find their missing loved ones, only to find out that some of them had already died. Nice try, right? I am in awe of some of the reactions, because some of them restored my faith in humanity: Parisians opened their homes, a mother invited children to express themselves through art. But let’s face it: I couldn’t do anything meaningful.

So what’s next? I have no idea. Part of me is becoming angrier by the minute when newspapers reveal that going to Syria to mastermind an attack, and then coming back to Europe to execute it is apparently as easy as pie. Couldn’t we have done more to prevent such atrocities? Couldn’t we have joined the dots? Maybe I should stop reading the news. And rightly or wrongly, I think that bombers will always find ways not to get arrested in most cases. But I am no expert obviously.

I suppose that all we can do, at our level, is to carry on and live our lives to the fullest. Let’s admit it, I will be that little bit more cautious. I hope that, one way or the other, we will manage to stop such attacks. That’s all we can do: hope, carry on and help the victims as much as possible. And between you and me, it sucks not to be able to do more! What about you, how are you dealing with the Paris attacks?

 

 

 

  • Richard Baron

    Beautifully put. I think a lot of us are going through a very similar experience. I know I am.

  • John Jackson

    Bon courage!

    We live in a terrible world. The vast majority of refugees trying to reach Europe are fleeing from Daesh and their likes.

    I do believe we relaxed our borders FAR in excess of what is wise. To have a Schengen Agreement means you can move easily and legally from one country to the next – but it can not mean that you must remove ALL records? I show my passport when I enter France. I am happy with that – my world does not stop!

    With the best of wishes to you, your family and friends in France as this very difficult time

    John

    ps. Apparently they HATE it when you call them Daesh!

  • I’m devastated by this news. I almost couldn’t believe it when I was watching the news. I kept thinking it had to be a mistake. But no, it happened. It makes a person stop and think, it certainly does. I’ve been to Paris, it’s a great city. It’s hard not to wonder if this sort of thing could have happened when I was visiting, or the next time I visit. Or any great city for that matter.

    As you say, they are monsters. Anyone that is willing to attack innocents. It just baffles the mind.

  • My heart goes out to France, the Parisians, the world really. We are already drowning in fear as it is, and now this again. We really can’t let these monsters win. No to fear and hate. We have to find it in us to live with more light and love. We owe this to our children.

  • Louise Lyle

    Muriel – people here in Paris are so shaken by these terrible events, but as always there is great strength and solidarity too.

  • Karen Nelson

    Nicely written…I certainly have no answers either. We cannot let monsters dictate our ways of coming and going or anything else. Best to you and yours.

  • deGency

    Strikes me that the targets of the attacks were just as much our shared values as the people who were robbed of their lives – you’re right about the need to carry on living according to these values, albeit with a heightened sense of how fragile we can be in these times.
    Parisians could be forgiven for thinking that, as the attacks in January were targeted at Charlie Hebdo journalists and customers at a kosher supermarket, the general citizenry weren’t the targets – now there are no illusions whatsoever.
    It then becomes incumbent on each and every one of us to live our values a little more fully; in essence, to look after ourselves and to look after each other. Perhaps the best reaction is to follow Antoine Lieris’s message to the murderers of his wife at the Bataclan –

    “Vous n’aurez pas ma haine”

    Vendredi soir vous avez volé la vie d’un être d’exception, l’amour de ma vie, la mère de mon fils mais vous n’aurez pas ma haine. Je ne sais pas qui vous êtes et je ne veux pas le savoir, vous êtes des âmes mortes. Si ce Dieu pour lequel vous tuez aveuglément nous a fait à son image, chaque balle dans le corps de ma femme aura été une blessure dans son coeur.

    Alors non je ne vous ferai pas ce cadeau de vous haïr. Vous l’avez bien cherché pourtant mais répondre à la haine par la colère ce serait céder à la même ignorance qui a fait de vous ce que vous êtes. Vous voulez que j’ai peur, que je regarde mes concitoyens avec un oeil méfiant, que je sacrifie ma liberté pour la sécurité. Perdu. Même joueur joue encore.

    Je l’ai vue ce matin. Enfin, après des nuits et des jours d’attente. Elle était aussi belle que lorsqu’elle est partie ce vendredi soir, aussi belle que lorsque j’en suis tombé éperdument amoureux il y a plus de 12 ans. Bien sûr je suis dévasté par le chagrin, je vous concède cette petite victoire, mais elle sera de courte durée. Je sais qu’elle nous accompagnera chaque jour et que nous nous retrouverons dans ce paradis des âmes libres auquel vous n’aurez jamais accès.

    Nous sommes deux, mon fils et moi, mais nous sommes plus fort que toutes les armées du monde. Je n’ai d’ailleurs pas plus de temps à vous consacrer, je dois rejoindre Melvil qui se réveille de sa sieste. Il a 17 mois à peine, il va manger son goûter comme tous les jours, puis nous allons jouer comme tous les jours et toute sa vie ce petit garçon vous fera l’affront d’être heureux et libre. Car non, vous n’aurez pas sa haine non plus.

  • Penelope James

    The positive side is the solidarity that has come from this. The negative – a very Big negative – is that this is going to happen again, not just in Paris but in other major cities, and what can be done to stop those terrorists from their vicious and terrifying path of destruction? The authorities round up a bunch and another bunch comes along, and somewhere, the head man or men is/are plotting further acts of destruction to ruin people’s sense of security. As you say, all we can do is carry on and live life to the fullest.