Pope Francis is right in calling the night of carnage one more battle in a "piecemeal World War III."
From the Elysee Palace (Elysium, or abode of the gods), French President Francois Hollande proclaimed the attacks to be an act of war perpetrated and planned by the Islamic State, which is now seemingly getting its wish and being officially recognized as a nation unto itself:
“France, because it was foully, disgracefully and violently attacked, will be unforgiving with the barbarians from Daesh,” Mr. Hollande said on Saturday, adding that France would act within the law but with “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.”France has already gotten a head start. Way back in 2012, Hollande armed the "good" Syrian rebels in a direct breach of a European embargo that then forbade weapons sales to that war-torn region. Maybe that is what President Obama meant last night when he bragged that France has always stood with the United States Empire in its own lawless, never-ending, obsessive compulsive quest to bring peace to the world through tanks, drones, guns, and various CIA coups and proxy wars. Except, of course, for the time post-9/11, when Francophobia became so intense within the elite American political class that Congress changed French fries into "freedom" fries on its menu in an inane act of solidarity to go along with its embrace of the paranoid Patriot Act and Bush's fraudulent invasion of Iraq.
They got over their food fetish quickly enough, but their war fetish lives on, and on, and on.
So does the jingoistic rhetoric. "They hate us for our freedoms" is enjoying a patriotic comeback from across the A to B political spectrum, clanging away throughout the land like a hollow cracked Liberty bell. The word "blowback" is nowhere to be seen or heard from within the parochial halls of the US media-political complex.
But the anodyne "values" are being belched out like projectile missiles. Obama himself managed to emit them a total of five times within a larger blast of boilerplate lasting less than two minutes:
"....this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share."
"Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress."
"We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share."
"And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening."
Meanwhile, Obama supplemented his mawkish Values with the hackneyed "thoughts and prayers" for the wounded and the dead, words that he recently professed to be so weary of while performing his official duty of mourning domestic gun violence victims. He did not offer monetary aid, help with funeral expenses, medical care, psychological counseling, or promises to end the bombings and give peace and refuge to some of the displaced, expelled people now barely surviving in makeshift refugee camps in Calais and elsewhere in Europe.
He did promise more of the same "revenge is mine" Old Testament chest-thumping that we thought we'd seen the last of with the exit of the unindicted and richly rewarded George W. Bush. Obama offered more death.
"We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people," Obama vowed to his TV audience.
Oh good. That must signify that he will also prosecute the American military terrorists who only last month obliterated the hospital run by the France-based Médecins Sans Frontières.
Or not. When the United States performs terroristic acts, they are done with therapeutic surgical strikes and bombs of democracy. They don't call them Patriot missiles for nothing. America's acts of aggression are hidden behind such grotesque monikers as Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Total deaths in Paris attacks: between 100 and 150.
Total deaths in Iraq War(s): 224,000. And counting.