Editorial – The Paris Attacks

The Editorial for Nov. 19 on the terrorist attacks in Paris and what it has the potential to change.

It would feel wrong to write about anything else than the recent attacks in Paris, even though I’m not entirely sure what to say about it.

Since the news of the terrorist attacks broke on Friday afternoon, I have been consumed by it. It has dominated by thoughts, sobered my mood and perplexed me, and I have been fixated on it ever since, reading as much news coverage as I could. I wanted to understand what led to it and what will come of it, as it is the largest attack on French soil since the Second World War.

The morning after the attack, a friend messaged me, asking me if I was going to write something about the attack and an editor friend of mine asked me to pen a political piece about the attacks for a university newspaper in Vancouver. And while I would love to have something poignant to say, something to articulate to help bring insight and understanding into what’s happening all over the world, not just in Paris, I don’t. I simply don’t have the words.

There hasn’t been a lack of articles and literature published since the attack, and social media feeds are bursting with a smattering of opinions, which is often more scary than helpful. But with 129 dead, 350 in hospital and over 150 counter-terrorism raids in Paris since the attack, there is a lot to understand and comment on. And with 43 dead in Beirut after a double-suicide attack on Thursday and an estimated three million refugees from the Syrian civil war, people around the world are grappling for answers, even though it might not be the ones they want.

There are going to be repercussions to the attack, which ISIS has claimed as their work, and it is likely to come in many forms.

There are states in the US that have said that they will not accept any refugees from Syria, as one of the identified terrorists in the Paris attacks was a Syrian refugee, even though it is unconstitutional and most of the refugees are fleeing the same people that caused these attacks. Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall has openly asked Justin Trudeau’s government to suspend its Syrian refugee plan, as it could “undermine the screening process.”

Anonymous, the hacker group has openly declared war on ISIS, and so has France. The country initiated bombing missions on Raqqa, Syria, dropping a total of 20 bombs on Sunday night.

While there is still much uncertain about the three-pronged attack across Paris, one thing is undeniable – it is going to change things. It has already changed things.