Bill Delamain San Francisco
Please don't write those three people are French. They may have received a French passport but they certainly don't consider themselves French. They actually hate the French and want nothing to do with them. Even when the receive generous social benefits (compared to the US and many countries in the world) and freedoms of a western democracy, they still hate France, the hand that fed them. One of them was born of Algerian parents who certainly thought France was a good place to emigrate and raise a family. All those three individuals could do was to harm French people, and in the process, any one who was not thinking or acting like them. If you want to show sympathy to the plight of France please stop calling these people French. If you want to look for the nationality of the real culprits I give you a clue: look for a wealthy organization that finances intolerance worldwide under the guise of education. Another clue: Tom Friedman has written about those in Flat World and in this newspaper. If you want to defeat that organization: stop buying what they sell.
This hypothesis is already disproved as the young men known to be involved in this latest atrocity were born in France and Belgium. They've lived their whole lives with access to Ecstasy and raves and they haven't been won over.
Having French citizenship does not make you French. They are Muslims, probably Arabs. They are not of the French Nation.
The fact that three French citizens apparently were involved shows the foolishness of rushing into military action against ISIS's strongholds in Syria and Iraq. A military campaign would not only risk another quagmire, and likely result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, but would afford no protection against ISIS members or supporters located in other countries, which may include the United States itself. Rather than repeating the neocons' rush to war back in 2001-2003, the intelligence services of America and its allies need to focus on finding and monitoring potential terrorists wherever they may be located and then reacting accordingly. We shouldn't let the terrorists provoke us, as they did the Bush Administration, into acting rashly and ineffectively.
N. Smith New York City
Not wanting to jump to logical conclusions given what is already known about the perpetrators; the question of this mass migration from Muslim lands still begs to be addressed and reconciled.
It should surprise absolutely no one at this point, that the unfettered access both into, and around Europe would have serious repercussions at one point or another. We are dealing with individuals and forces that consider themselves at war with the Western world, and its ideologies.
What we are witnessing now, is most probably just the beginning of what lays ahead. A perplexing and horrible thought.
Why is it that the New York Times is so obsessed with the horrible carnage in Paris alone? Where was the New York Times when Lebanon was bombed on Thursday? It had no story on the Lebanon bombing at all until several hours ago. This is all part of the same problem, and it all requires our attention and action.
Blue Heron Philadelphia
We have so little independently verified information about not just what happened in Paris on Friday but a whole chain of comparable acts of terrorism since 9/11--and yet finger-pointing runs rampant among the comments here so far. Let's remember how the world jumped to support America in the days after (much as every corner of the planet expressed support for France over the past 36 hours) and how we proceeded to squander that goodwill over the next few years in one militaristic response after another, all under the "war" moniker. I can be supportive of the French and at the very same time lambaste the war, migrant and "we will hunt down the terrorists" political rhetoric of their leaders. We have to resist this rigid "you're with us or against us" mindset that does nothing but divide/separate people into camps making it tough to find common ground. Most of all, we must repudiate all of this war talk by the military industrial complex that has had a huge hand in creating the global mess we find ourselves. I was so heartened to read on Twitter that a man was seen on the street near where all of this mayhem occurred in Paris, playing the piano and singing John Lennon's "Imagine." Those words resonate for me today more than ever and the words of that song are what all of us should be rallying around and holding our leaders to account for, not the "eye for an eye" dogma of war and retaliation.
Peisinoe New York
Allowing almost 1 million people UNSCREENED – almost 80% fighting age males into Europe is criminal irresponsibility.
I hope the NYT and other ‘politically correct’ elements realize that even if only a very small percentage of them are fundamentalists, or terrorists, this will translate into thousands of real threats.
While we cannot fall into the intimidation of becoming intolerant beasts and mistreating all Muslims as terrorists – we have to have a much more honest conversation about Islam, and what bringing in millions of Muslim men into Europe may mean to the West.
The truth is that we have entire countries, like Saudi Arabia, Iran etc that are still stoning women and torturing homosexuals. The idea that we accept these atrocities in the name or ‘cultural relevance’ or ‘political correctness’ indicates our own moral depravity.
The intolerant version is not practiced by a few extremist – but by entire countries – by hundreds of millions.
Our main threat is our own ignorance – and prioritizing ideology over truth.
We must come together and define what tolerant Islam is and its place in the West. I still firmly believe that the great majority of Muslims are tolerant and peace loving – but we must come together and speak a bit louder; Not in terms of Christians versus Muslims – but as tolerant people against any corrupt version of religious preaching oppression of religious freedom, sexual freedom, race or gender.
Sherry Jones Washington
How does Daesh/ISIS recruit terrorists to bomb western targets? By urging these young men to see themselves as victims of anti-Muslim hatred in the west. In other words, the best way to help Daesh recruit terrorists is to treat all Muslims like second-class citizens and all refugees as terrorist threats. Of course, we must use smart, effective policing, and arrest radicals whose actions are reasonable cause of potential threat; we should do the same everywhere. But please don't let the right-wing in the US and Europe do Daesh's dirty work for them by punishing all Muslims for the crimes of the very few. We should provide safe harbor to Syrian refugees until this war is over, and we should model the good and gracious western citizenship we love and are capable of, so that they will take those lessons to heart and back home and strengthen their resolve to create similar society one day in Syria. If, instead, we turn against all refugees from Syria; if we follow the fearful and shameful lead of Republican candidates for President here in the United States, and right-wingers in Europe, and treat all Muslims and all refugees like the enemy, we play right into Daesh's hand.
tyler kent Detroit, Michigan
The reporters say, "Mr. Sarkozy, who has been known to be tough on immigrants during his tenure as president..." I wonder on what planet did they observe Mr. Sarkozy being "tough on immigrants"? What restrictions on Third World or Muslim immigration did Sarkozy impose? France needs Marine Le Pen and the National Front if it wants to survive. And Americans need sources of news other than the NY Times if they want to be informed.
Luis Mendoza San Francisco Bay Area
War is hell. It is terrible to see what's happening in so many countries affected by violence and extremism. During the last few weeks militants have attacked civilians of several countries, including France, Lebanon, Russia, Iraq, among others.
In the aftermath of these attacks people react in several ways, including fear, and anger. Many want vengeance and retribution, and to hold those accountable for targeting civilians.
I think that given the climate, it is inevitable that France and her allies are probably going to intensify attacks against the perpetrators of this (latest) heinous act.
As Western leaders grapple with important decisions, perhaps they should also consider ways of extricating themselves from ME regional quagmires. One good step would be to get out of the business of regime change. When outside powers interfere in other people's lands planting and deposing leaders, this may lead to power vacuums that breed extremism, as we've learned in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion.
Something else that may be considered is stopping drone attacks. Because they result in the death of hundreds of innocent people (sometimes callously referred as "collateral damage"), this helps create enemies for the countries using them.
Finally, perhaps some thought should be given to the option of Western powers leaving the ME, removing their military personnel and equipment, and let them fight their own battles, make their own peace, and lead their own futures.
M. Seattle, WA
At the Democratic presidential debates last night, not one of the candidates would agree that we are at war with radical Islam. And Hillary wants 65k Syrian refugees brought to the US instead of the 10k originally planned. This kind of nonsense is why we have Trump running for president.
Ghulam New York
Let us not blame European Muslims for what are essentially failures of French intelligence.
Siobhan is a trusted commenter New York
This comment raises "blame the victim" to a new level.
JOHN CHEVY CHASE
Who did the killing? French intelligence officers?c sea
"Mr. Mostefaï [...] had been under surveillance since 2010, having been flagged in a French security services database as someone who had fallen under the influence of extremist Islamist beliefs"
Why on Earth was he not deported? Get these people out of the country. Those who practice violent ideology cannot claim the protection of free speech.
mikenh Nashua, N.H.
re: Ghulam from new York
Considering that the vast majority of Muslims in Europe live in cloistered Muslim-dominated communities I find it a bit hard to place faith in your assumption that some European Muslims didn't have any forewarning about these attacks.
“Those who organized, who perpetrated the attacks are the very same people who the refugees are fleeing and not the opposite,” Agence-France Presse quoted Mr. Juncker as saying. “And so there is no need for an overall review of the European policy on refugees.”
Yeah? And what about those who want to perpetrate future terrorists attacks and are now among the refugees?
RoughAcres is a trusted commenter New York
And so begins another round of "war."
Another round of scapegoating, of name-calling, of profiling.
Another destroyed city of homes and offices and infrastructure.
Another flood of refugees, who will find few doors open to them.
And another generation will grow up to hate and to make war.
And rather than educate all children, rather than help all people find a home, rather than ensuring all humans have a place on this Earth, rather than using all that steel for bridges instead of weapons, rather than stepping into the future with hope and love in our hearts...
We choose to add another round in the chamber.
Ronnie Lane Boston, MA
It has to do with proximity and shared values. The NY Times is a western paper and its readers are mostly westerners.
It's no different from you paying more attention to a ferry disaster in say the English channel than a ferry disaster on a river in remote China - even though the Chinese disaster might have far more casualties. Or more news time being given to a mudslide that kills 100 in Washington State than a mudslide that kills thousands in Mongolia.
Finally, a bomb going off in the Middle East, however tragic, is hardly a rare event. It happens virtually every day.
The USA has spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Yes folks…that’s over 1 million dollars for every man, woman and child in the USA…not including interest on the money borrowed…or the inevitable growth to 6 trillion that reliable experts are anticipating! That’s more than 4 million dollars for my immediate family! How in God’s name are we going to pay for this…AND college tuition? Paul Krugman…PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!
And is there ANYONE out there who REALLY feels 1 million dollars safer? Al Qaeda has at long last been defeated…declared irrelevant…pushed to the margins…by ISIS. I’m sooooooo relieved.
I’ve been “praying for the French” all weekend and will support that great country any way I can but not with more war along that same politically bungling lines as what we’ve been conducting thus far.
I for one have NO interest in continuing this expensive, bankrupting multi-decade long string of “Stalingrad-like” crusades that has produced little more than jihad fertile failed states and dead or maimed "heroes".
If the French feel some small bit of emotional satisfaction from a retaliatory airstrike, well...I hope they enjoy it because that is about ALL they will get. In my opinion they'd be better off spending their resources on better homeland security police work...and perhaps a good bottle of wine.