An Alarm for Mankind: Paris Attacks

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It was the much awaited weekends. Two days designated to sheer laziness, languor and fantasia and more procrastination. I had assembled my special break-of-day self treat comprising of a cup of smoldering coffee, a few books I was meaning to finish off and the morning newspaper. But that morning I was hardly prepared for the devastating news that awaited me on the very front pages of all the newspapers.                                                         
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Reports of barbaric attacks on Paris flashed all over. “129 killed in serial slaughter” it said. There were pictures of several places attacked: the Batacian (Concert Venue), Le Belle Equipe (restaurant), Le Carillon (cafe-bar), Stade de France (stadium) and the Comptoir Voltaire Cafe. The first went off at the stadium where President Francois Hollande happened to be watching a friendly soccer match at 9:20 p.m by a suicide bomber. What was shocking is the fact that the assailants hit arbitrary trendy neighborhoods on a Friday night when loads of people would be starting to enjoy their weekends. The worst affected was the concert hall where gunmen simply shot bursts of bullets into the throng. A witness caught an assailant bellowing “What you are doing in Syria, you are going to pay for it now.”
Paris, perhaps the most romanticized city, was reeling under a lunatic shower of bullets and so was I. The very second page of the newspaper introduced me to the following lines “An President Francois Hollande today promised a ‘merciless’ response.” True to his words the next day’s headlines proclaimed “French jet bomb ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.” Anti-ISIS activists at Raqqa reported 24 bombs dropped and 30 explosions overnight. France had been a part of the U.S-led coalition of nations fighting against the ISIS but post Friday they redoubled their efforts. I recalled the last winter when media was flooded with horrendous videos of heartless beheading, burning alive of the captured pilot from Jordan, mass executions of men and women by the ISIS. Today, according to the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, “War” had been declared and “anybody who attacks the Republic, the Republic will fight back.”
My thoughts clouded. Every time a government declares war, it is the youth that must fight and dies. It is the little baby innocently holding its mother’s hands at the concert, or the two friends who decided to discuss their work at the cafe or the pair of lovers watching the match that must die. Why should terror be the answer? How fragile lives are and how shattering our existence is! How granted we take the fact that we would live to see the light of the next day. It is frightening to find the City of Lights in total darkness and despair. Terror stricken world, is this the leading to a third world war and will bombings be always answered with more bombings? As Murakami puts it, “There is no war that will end all wars.”

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