“Courage, courage, courage” were the French words plastered all over the small French Canadian town of Lac Megantic, Quebec, in 2013 when in an instant, over 40 Canadians were wiped out in a train wreck oil explosion disaster. 46 Canadian families completely decimated, left to pick up the pieces of their now ash strewn lives. Their French countrymen and women left messages all over the town in the aftermath of the disaster. “Courage courage courage!” Be brave, Lac Megantic, we love you, was the message. Today it is hundreds of French families in Paris who are digging deep for “courage courage courage” in the wake of the deadliest terror attack to strike French soil. The New York Times reported Nov. 14 that ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack. Multiple tweets have been found online with the Arabic translation of #ParisBurns flooding the Twittersphere, moments before the attacks. ISIS has also released a statement saying, the storm isn’t over.
Meanwhile, it is clear that Paris is still bleeding. Hundreds of families today are seen all over social media still searching for loved ones lost in Paris last night. These are families that at the time of print are still being terrorized by ISIS. And, right on cue in the wake of disaster, the political handwringing and finger pointing has begun.
In the wake of every one of these disasters the world waits with breath that is baited for leaders to come to the podium and start explaining things. Before any leader took any podium however the word “ISIS” had pretty much infiltrated the air waves, media outlets, and the Twittersphere. So it was no surprise when France President Francois Hollande hinted as much in one of his earliest addresses.
But it was a surprise when he announced he was closing France borders. And when he did he made statements that included the word “war” and declared a state of emergency. Paris immediately shut down.
The Eiffel Tower went dark. The Eiffel Tower has not done that since the Twin Towers came down. Paris has been reporting on their city website all of the things that have been shut down in the city which is, basically, everything.
The Eiffel Tower has been closed down indefinitely. @Paris, the official website for the city has been tweeting other closures. All metro stations, all government offices and buildings, museums and schools.
Even Disneyland Paris, the happiest place on Earth, is sad and has turned out the lights. Paris has shut down, France has shut the door.
But, as the Washington Times reported Nov. 14, President Obama said earlier that very day on Nov. 13 that the threat against ISIS had been contained. It so obviously has not, and ISIS would later make that very clear when they could finally claim responsibility.
France is closed and in a state of emergency. France, the “oldest ally of the United States” according to President Obama last night, is closed indefinitely. France has not closed its borders since World War II, and has not declared a state of emergency since the Algerian War in 1954.
President Hollande would later go on to say that the borders weren’t being closed entirely, that certain checkpoints would be available for some people but to “expect more security scrutiny” for those that attend those checkpoints. Closing the borders immediately became the talked about “unprecedented historical move” while the world waited for ISIS to claim responsibility.
Why was that a big deal? For starters, it wasn’t so unprecedented. But nobody wanted to say out loud when the last time that happened because that could frighten people. The answer to when the last time that happened is, World War II.
But also it was a big deal because you can’t really do that no matter how much power you have without some really credible information that has been quadrupley vetted and verified. And that process does not happen overnight. And, an attack that has already occurred is not enough. You need proof, verifiable and unquestionable proof, that more is coming.
President Hollande stated he did so in the hopes of “containing” the ISIS threat, so that any terrorists still alive in the country could not escape. But, France and even Paris has been attacked by terrorists before and that still never happened.
The hospitals in France are also now on a Plan White status, and will be indefinitely according to the National Post today. This is the alert for a mass casualty situation.
What do the Presidents know that we don’t? Is that what President Obama meant when the threat was contained? That they’ve trapped the terrorists inside France? According to the statement released by ISIS, their threats are far from contained. The English translation can be seen in the slideshow courtesy of TerrorMonitor.org.
“Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign, and dare to curse our Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.”
6 attacks that we know of in one night, is allegedly the first of the ISIS storm. And it has oft been said since these attacks transpired less than 24 hours ago how complex and intricate a plan that must be for one group to pull off a multi-stationed terror attack in such a short time span. To think that only 5 terrorists have been accounted for at the time of press is unthinkable.
There were more than 5 locations attacked. There had to have been more terrorists present. It’s not “speculation” it is simple math. Also, ISIS told us this in their statement. They said,
“8 brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France.”
The plan was so complex, that even when the last of the attacks of the night had been stifled, the victim count still remains unknown. Hundreds of families are flooding social media, still looking for loved ones that went out for a Friday night in Paris, and still haven’t come home.
Most of them are youth. One of the attack zones of ISIS was at a club known as the Bataclan, where young people were attending a rock concert. Many of them haven’t made it home.
Trending topics in Paris today are #RechercheParis and #Recherche Bataclan. Those timelines are experiencing approximately 20 new tweets every minute of missing people as Paris continues to bleed. @Paris is asking anyone to donate blood to blood banks as the victim count continues to mount for French hospitals on Plan White.
That information is in the slideshow and also on the @Paris timeline for anyone in France that wants to help the victims of the ISIS Paris attacks through blood donations. Paris also has an emergency number on their Twitter feed for tourists that are stranded.
The lights have gone out in the City of Lights. And the world prays for courage, courage, courage for Paris much like Quebec did for their own in Lac Megantic. Although, theirs was not a terrorist situation. The face of grief however is all the same. This will be without question a turning point in French history. In days gone by these events have only led to war.
Very soon the lights will go back on in Paris. And the face of Paris will be a little bit harder and deeply marked by the lines of grief and loss. Many Parisians are already hitting the streets to sing and dance in the face of grief with #wearenotafraid on their timelines.
Will there be war? If so, Paris is not afraid. And today the world has a new face to look up to when it comes to bravery in the face of terror. Paris is no longer just the city of love and the city of lights. For the face of “courage courage courage” now we will always have Paris.