The First World War started over less. Jets from Turkey, a member of NATO, shot down a Sukhoi 24 fighter from Russia, a state with around 7,700 nuclear warheads, over Turkey's border with Syria.
There certainly was artifice and theatrics when at the conclusion of his Versailles speech the parliamentarians gave him a standing ovation and broke into the Marseillaise. But even a skeptical eye saw some genuine patriotism rather than the usual hypocrisy.
While the action in the Middle East should lead to both terror attacks and fears leveling off over time, an equally important part of the fight is within French borders. There is no justification in the world for terrorism. But if these areas are not given hope, some of its residents become tempted by radical Islam.
LONDON -- I recently traveled to Paris from London. It takes two and a half hours by train. We are neighbors, our histories and populations intertwined. My 10-year-old granddaughter will go there this week with her parents as a birthday treat. She loves everything she has learned about Paris. So, like other Londoners, and citizens of free societies everywhere, she was horrified by the recent atrocities there. I suppose, she said, it could have happened here.
More than a week of cacophonous media and political gabble after the shocking Isis attacks on Paris make it clear that US presidential campaigns are no place to look for answers on this shocking and complex episode of new world chaos.
The ISIS attack in Paris was an attack on our global community. We have to take decisive collective action now with the global mechanisms available to us and aggressively meet this existential challenge to our core belief systems and way of life.
THE STORY You've heard that there's a brutal terror group based in Syria and Iraq. You've heard that it has affiliates around the world, beheads Weste...
So where do we all stand? François Hollande announced that France is at war and has called for an international coalition to fight against ISIS with the goal of "destroying terrorism." So do we finally have the response that we have been waiting for since the first few hours after the attack in Paris: a coordinated deployment of international troops to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS? Not exactly. After everything, there still is not an existing, international political coalition to intervene in Syria. Ironically, the root of this nightmare in Syria is the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran: two countries that no Western nation, including Russia, can afford to alienate.
There should be no question in anyone's mind that the Paris attacks last weekend have forced the entire country and the nation's leaders to reassess the scope of the terrorism problem, the absolute terror and brutalization that the Islamic State represents, and France's role in countering international terrorism more broadly.
The most difficult thing that is left to be done after this massacre is to understand what is happening to us, to conceptualize the hate that is enveloping us, to conceptualize the profound threats looming over our democracies.
BEIRUT -- We don't yet know if the attack on the Russian airliner in Sinai, the suicide bombs in Beirut and the Paris onslaught were conceived and coordinated by ISIS leadership in Syria and Iraq. If they weren't, Europe has a different problem -- but one no less serious.
I wish we could be certain that our political leaders would always react to dramatic events only after thoroughly analyzing the situation to determine the most adequate and commensurate response.
Even if the French wholeheartedly embraced this plan, it's not going to happen overnight. And a lot of brave soldiers are going to die in the effort -- there is no getting around that. Whether this price is politically acceptable is up to the French people, really. It's for them to decide.
It is easy to blame the media for reporting much more on massacres in Paris than on bombings in Beirut or Baghdad. But media outlets are simply responding to consumer demands and market forces. It is on you, the consumer and moral citizen, to demand better coverage and to actively seek out a broader moral community.
While many people have expressed outrage and sympathy for the victims, they've been criticized for not mentioning the bombings just a day before in Beirut. It's grief shaming, plain and simple.
The French MUST be applauded for being among the few who stood side-by-side by the Syrian people in their legitimate revolution against the tyrannical regime of Bashar al-Assad.