French President Francois Hollande announced that the attacks on Paris, barely a week ago, were an “Act of War”. That series of events, carried out by “Daesh” (using the Arabic acronym), killed (now) 130 people. Those French and foreign civilians did not pose a threat to ISIL in any way. Rather, they were just doing what members of a civil society often do on a weekend—dining, laughing, attending a concert, etc. They were basically just enjoying life in Paris.
I prefer not to use the term “War” when referring to terrorism committed by often-uncontrolled “cells”, or small, unaffiliated units which have only somewhat common goals. ISIL is not a nation, a tribe or any other sort of organized society. It is not even an organization. Rather, it is an amorphous bunch of, well, barbaric murderers.
Now, I realize that whether we call the attacks Acts of War, or choose to Declarer War on ISIL, it may just be a matter of semantics. By either name, however, people were still senselessly killed, popular areas in the city were bombed and subjected to sniper fire. And, given the very loose form in which ISIL exists, the possibility of future attacks yet remains.
During a State of War, there are generally certain assumed acts of good will, which each side is expected to afford the other, most specifically regarding the treatment of prisoners. According to the Geneva Conventions, prisoners are supposedly: treated humanely; provided medical attention, as needed; Red Cross/Red Crescent representatives are permitted access; bodies of deceased captives are returned; and prisoners would not be tortured in any way. Additionally, there is generally a prisoner exchange following a war. I doubt that any of those conditions could exist with regard to ISIL.
Daesh seems to be mostly a gangland grouping of marauders—stealing, destroying, killing, raping, etc. There cannot be any expectation for a Code of Ethics—or even any Honor Among Thieves, if you will. Besides, the Jihadists’ deviant form of “Religion”, such as it is, does not place any value whatsoever on Human Life. In fact, ISIL now deploys women in explosive vests as the newest suicide bombers, and it locates combatants among villages, hospitals and schools.
So, I refuse to associate ISIL, or any such Jihadi terrorist cell, with either an Act or a Declaration of War. GOP Presidential Candidate Senator Marco Rubio, from my home State oil Florida, has suggested that the result of last Friday night’s attacks in Paris was a “Clash of Civilizations”. What nonsense! I would not ascribe any sense of civility to these murderous gangs of thugs. Rather, I will call the attacks what they are: senseless acts of horrendous barbarism on innocent civilians.