Obviously, this is a decision that only the democratically elected government and people of France can make. That said, as longtime friends of France and the trans-Atlantic partnership, we too have a big stake in where France goes from here. Allow us a few observations.
Following a week of deadly shootings, nearly 4 million people took a stand and marched against terrorism on Sunday, the largest public gathering in France's history. Over 40 of the world's top leaders marched together in solidarity. We should've been there.
No one or at least I hope no one that would read this blog would want to see anyone killed for speaking their mind, no matter what it was that was being said, even if they disagreed.
Freedom of speech is vital, but it is not the only value we have. We can defend Charlie Hebdo's right to offend, understand the social reasons why the New York Times did not publish their cartoons, and support legal restrictions on far right attempts to incite hatred and violence.
This is a time for courage and unity. It is also a time for symbolism. The White House admits President Obama should have been in that front row of leaders, marching, singing, and waving flags and signs of courage and determination.
There is a reason over a million people visit the Anne Frank House very year. There is a reason France's most celebrated public intellectual, Bernard Henri Levy, is a proud Jew. A strong and safe Jewish community enriches the cultural life of every nation.
The United States of America and France are brothers in fraternity as diamonds shining in the rough, against all odds, full of optimism, resiliency, and engendering the best of the world. Both nations are the height of what people and civilizations can accomplish.
In France, as in America, minorities feel at odds in their country that so readily trumpets democracy to the world. January 7 demonstrated that both nations will rally in a heartbeat to defend liberté. Let's see if they can take egalité and fraternité just as seriously.
Bosnia's Muslim leadership answers without ambiguity. We have to worry more about those who would appoint themselves to defend God against presumed insult than those purportedly committing the offense.
Paris does not inaugurate a "new era of Terrorism." It changes absolutely nothing in the big picture of Islamic terrorism or Middle East politics or American/Western policy orientations. Outside of France, everything is pretty much as before. That includes perpetuation of the fables and fantasies that are the enemy of sound and sensible policies.
Top political leaders in France and Germany need to follow the example set more than a decade ago by Clinton and Bush when faced with terror attacks in this country and say in the strongest terms that they will wage war against terrorism, not Muslims.
Just as the gruesome beheadings in Syria rallied a once war-weary public to support the deployment of US troops in both Iraq and Syria, the brutal assault at Charlie Hebdo could have the effect of convincing more Americans that US intelligence should keep the power they have in order to detect a similar act of violence.
Three million ordinary people turning out to express their support and solidarity with the survivors and the victims in an attack on a tiny antiauthoritarian newspaper is quite another matter from the White House admonition after 9/11 to carry on with the nation's business.
The shock wave from Paris is the latest in a growing wave of jihadi-inspired terror against Muslims and westerners in recent months in France, in Europe, in the Middle East and across the globe.
Freedom of expression does not mean that anyone has the right to be heard at any time and in any forum, no matter what. There are times when lines must be drawn for reasons both moral and legal, but there are other times when it is inappropriate and wrong to draw such lines.